FSRH consultation response: FSRH responds to Welsh Government’s consultation on the home use of abortion pills
Date: 23 Feb 2021
Type: FSRH Consultation Responses
The Welsh Government 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 Wales.
Telemedicine has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the provision of abortion for women accessing these services. Evidence shows the remote care pathway facilitated by the temporary approval order has been safe, accessible and acceptable for women, with no added risk of negative outcomes associated with home use of both pills. This measure has resulted in reduced waiting times and shorter average length of gestation at the time of abortion.
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 Wales is vital in ensuring that these women can access care.
Remote consultations save time for healthcare providers, which enables them to see more patients and reduce waiting times. Remote consultations allow healthcare providers to work more flexibly if they need to work from home when shielding. Healthcare providers can continue to provide care safely, without the risk of contracting COVID-19 in a clinic setting.