FSRH consultation response: FSRH responds to consultation on the home use of abortion pills in England
Date: 26 Feb 2021
Type: FSRH Consultation Responses
The Department of Health and Social Care is consulting on whether to continue to allow home use of mifepristone and misoprostol for early medical abortion (EMA) up to 10 weeks gestation after the pandemic. In our consultation response, we make the case for making this measure permanent in England.
Telemedicine has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the provision of abortion for women accessing these services. Evidence demonstrates that the remote care pathway facilitated by the temporary approval order has been safe and effective for women, with no added risk of negative outcomes associated with the home use of both pills.
Removing the requirement to attend an abortion clinic in person reduces waiting times for abortion care, reduces risk of complications, saves time for clinicians, and saves costs of delivering care for the NHS.
Allowing the home use of abortion pills improves access to care, especially for vulnerable women. Many women face barriers in attending face-to-face services, e.g. due to lack of transport arrangements, disability, child-care responsibilities, or abusive relationships. Remote access to abortion services in England is vital in ensuring that these women can access care.
Abortion care is an essential part of healthcare. Making this measure permanent is a significant step towards ensuring equitable access to this vital service.