Thank you for contacting me about the consequences of the changes to the abortion laws and regulations introduced during last year.
I opposed these measures from the moment they were introduced and continue to do so. It was clear that they would have appalling implications for women's health and were deeply unsafe in may ways and on many levels.
While I cannot comment on individual cases especially while inquiries are ongoing, I can re-iterate my position, expressed at the time, that the move to make 'DIY' abortions at home possible was a dreadful mistake and the emergency regulations should be revoked.
It is clear that, in all sorts of ways, abortions done at home expose women to significant risk when complications arise and they have to be rushed to hospital, especially at a time when the emergency and health services are under severe pressure. Not only that, but there are clear risks that women and girls will be coerced into courses of action that they otherwise might not have agreed to.
It is worth quoting again the words of Lord Bethell in a debate in the House of Lords when the Government opposed similar proposals:
'...we do not agree that women should be able to take both treatments for medical abortion at home. We believe that it is an essential safeguard that a woman attends a clinic, to ensure that she has an opportunity to be seen alone and to ensure that there are no issues. Do we really want to support an amendment that could remove the only opportunity many women have, often at a most vulnerable stage, to speak confidentially and one-to-one with a doctor about their concerns on abortion and about what the alternatives might be? The bottom line is that, if there is an abusive relationship and no legal requirement for a doctor’s involvement, it is far more likely that a vulnerable woman could be pressured into having an abortion by an abusive partner.'
I will continue to press for these dangerous measures to be ended.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP