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SPUC demands answers from Health Secretary as major public health campaign is launched in Scotland to allow DIY abortions at home

by | Apr 28, 2020

By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

The CEOs of SPUC and SPUC Scotland have demanded answers from the Secretary of State for Health and Social care, as a major public health campaign, calling for the immediate reversal of the dangerous home abortion regime, is launched.

In a letter, John Smeaton, SPUC Chief Executive contacted the Secretary of State for Health and Social care, Matt Hancock, and John Deighan, SPUC Scotland Chief Executive contacted Scottish Cabinet Secretary for health and Sport, Jeane Freeman.

The Letter

In the letter, the CEOs said:

“Despite the normalisation of abortion which has taken place over the last 50 years, not to mention the lax adherence to the terms of the Abortion Act, allowing women to self-administer both stages of a medical abortion in their own home is the most radical change to abortion provision since 1967.

“As you may expect, the first concern of SPUC under this new, if temporary, regime, is the potential for even greater loss of unborn human lives. This DIY abortion scheme further erodes this dignity of human life before birth.

“Very closely aligned to our concern for unborn babies, is our concern for the health and wellbeing of women. I include key questions below which highlight our concerns. 

1. How will abortion providers or registered medical practitioners operating remotely be certain that a pregnancy is under nine weeks and six days? Remote abortion provision relies on a woman self-dating her pregnancy by her last menstrual period (LMP). Studies report that as many as one half of women do not accurately recall their LMP. Abortion pills taken after 10 weeks give rise to significant complications. In one UK study 53% of medical abortions after 13 weeks required surgical intervention.

2. How will remote abortion assessment ensure that a woman is not being coerced into having the abortion? This is of particular concern at a time of rising domestic violence. Lord Bethell spoke of the ‘essential safeguard’ of a woman attending a clinic ‘to ensure there are no issues’. He made particular reference to vulnerable women under pressure from an abusive partner. In our view, remote abortions facilitate a serious form of domestic violence by opening the opportunity for unchecked coercion from abusive men and an opportunity for abusers to cover their tracks.

3. How will serious medical issues such as ectopic pregnancy be identified via an electronic consultation?

4. How can your department justify exposing women to the threat of death? The extent of the radical nature of remote abortion provision can be seen in the extensive complications listed by abortion providers, including bpas. Death is included in the bpas list (1 in 100,000).  One researcher found a death rate of 0.009% from medical abortion. Applied to the abortion data from England and Wales, the number of deaths each year from medical abortion might be expected to be around 11 per year.”

Mr. Smeaton continued: 

“SPUC calls for the Government to reverse this dangerous abortion scheme immediately.

“Your department must also be held fully accountable for the outcome of this rash, ill-advised regime of abortion provision. At the very least, you should report fully to Parliament and the public on this new abortion measure once social distancing is lifted.”

Categories: Abortion