By V4 Agency
The vast majority of GPs are concerned about the affects of at-home abortions on women, who decide to terminate their pregnancy without medical supervision, because of the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases the abortions are the result of coercion or domestic violence.
The government’s medical at-home abortion protocol – introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic – now allows women to terminate pregnancy by taking abortion pills with no medical supervision in their homes, something GPs in the UK find particularly alarming.
A Savanta ComRes opinion poll of one thousand UK GPs has revealed that 82% are concerned about the abortion pills – sent via regular post – being falsely obtained by people other than the woman who had requestem them.
86 per cent of GPs are concerned about the risk of women being coerced into having an abortion and the potential for having a medical abortion past the legal limit of 10 weeks into gestation. The poll also showed that almost 60 per cent of GPs are worried about women having a medical abortion at home after a phone or video consultation with a doctor.
87 per cent have also responded that they are concerned about women being at risk of unwanted abortions resulting from domestic abuse where a doctor not seeing the pregnant woman in person.
Concerning the Savanta ComRes poll, Dr Gregory Gardner, a longstanding GP and honorary clinical lecturer said “this poll reflects significant concern among GPs of the vulnerability of women seeking abortion advice by telemedicine.” Mr Gardner believes that “the government has chosen to abandon woman to DIY abortion, with no safeguarding to protect them from coercion or abuse.”
The deputy CEO of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children thinks that the poll’s “results are a searing indictment of a rushed, badly-thought through policy.”
The idea of sending abortion pills to women via regular mail during the coronavirus pandemic also ceme up in the US last year. Twenty-one attorney generals have sent a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), urging the agency to allow women to receive abortion-inducing drugs by mail, so that they needn’t leave their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The attorney generals’ request pertained to the abortion-inducing drug called mifepristone. To obtain the drug, in line with the previous regulations, women had to go to a doctor’s office and sign a “patient agreement,” saying they have been warned of risks associated with it. The attorney generals now propose that women should contact medical professionals and go through the process by phone or computer and receive the drug via regular mail.
Angered by the initiative, pro-life groups have sent a letter to Alex Azar, the former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and warned that abortion has many adverse effects and puts women at the risk of bleeding out or infections, especially now, during the pandemic. The letter also stresses that “women undergoing chemical abortions are especially vulnerable, experiencing four times as many adverse events as women undergoing surgical abortions”.
The rule requiring women to make a medically unnecessary in-person visit to their doctors to pick up their abortion pills was rescinded last year, because of the coronavirus pandemic. In January, however, the Supreme Court granted a Trump Administration request to reinstate the suspended FDA rule, meaning patients are again required to visit their healthcare provider in person.