86% of British GPs fear women could be coerced under DIY home abortion regulations > SPUC

A new opinion poll has found that 86% of GPs in Britain are concerned about the risk of women being coerced into an abortion under the Government’s DIY home abortion programme. John Deighan, Deputy CEO of SPUC, said: “These results are a searing indictment of a rushed, badly-thought through policy. The Department of Health is clearly and completely out of touch with GP's opinion on this issue. This reckless policy must end.”

The DIY home abortion programme was launched during 2020 with the provision that it was a temporary emergency measure needed for the pandemic's duration to protect women from coronavirus by taking away the need to attend a clinic. 

The service, however, has resulted in medical practitioners no longer having proper oversight and management over the abortion process. Women can get chemical abortion drugs following a phone or video call. They then perform their own abortion at home with no medical supervision or support.

In a Savanta Comres poll, carried out on behalf of SPUC and Christian Concern, medical professionals across Britain have expressed their concerns regarding the abortion programme and the impact this will have on the physical and emotional wellbeing of women.

The findings

The poll of GPs has found that:

  • The majority of GPs (57%) say they are concerned about women having a medical abortion at home after a phone or video consultation with a doctor.
  • Three-quarters of GPs (74%) say they are concerned about women finding it distressing potentially having to dispose of the terminated pregnancy either into the toilet or sanitary pads.
  • More than eight in ten GPs (86%) say they are concerned about women having a medical abortion past the legal limit of ten weeks into gestation.
  • Eight in ten GPs (82%) say they are concerned about the possibility of abortion pills being falsely obtained for another person with a telemedicine abortion appointment where the doctor has not seen the woman in person.
  • More than eight in ten GPs (86%) say they are concerned about women being at risk of being coerced into an abortion by a partner or family member with a telemedicine abortion appointment where the doctor has not seen the woman in person.
  • More than eight in ten GPs (87%) say they are concerned about women being at risk of unwanted abortion arising from domestic abuse by partners controlling or monitoring their actions with a telemedicine abortion appointment where the doctor has not seen the woman in person.

After being presented with information about an investigation that found that abortion providers had sent abortion drugs to women who had given false personal information, the vast majority of GPs agreed with each of the following:

  • It is concerning that callers giving false information can easily obtain abortion drugs (90%).
  • Staff at abortion providers need to ensure that they are collecting correct medical and personal information to certify a woman for a home abortion (94%).
  • It is important that checks are put in place to ensure women being certified for abortion meet the legal criteria (94%).

Abandoning women to DIY home abortion

According to further Savanta Comres prolling carried out during December 2020, the vast majority of the public, in England Wales and Scotland were also concerned about the DIY abortion programme and how this impacts women.

SPUC’s Mr Deighan added: “The risks of coercion are obvious, as are the mental health implications for women of having to dispose of a terminated pregnancy themselves. Despite the rise in domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdown the government has chosen to abandon woman to DIY abortion, with no safeguarding to protect them from coercion or abuse.

“The sad reality is that many more woman will, likely, now be coerced into abortion from an abusive partner.”

 

86% of British GPs concerned about DIY home abortion, new poll finds
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