For many years I have been an advocate for a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, and I am committed to ensuring that this right continues to be protected in law.
Allowing the use of Abortion Pills was designed to limit the transmission of Covid-19 and ensure continued access to early medical abortion services.
It meant that women who found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy were not forced to choose between exposing themselves (and healthcare workers) to the risk of Covid-19 infection in clinic waiting rooms, or to continue with a pregnancy they did not want. It also reduced the risk of women choosing to access abortion medications online illegally and/or resorting to using unsafe methods.
Evidence so far suggests that telemedicine has worked well – requests to illegal services have ceased, and the most vulnerable women, including those suffering domestic abuse, have been able to access the care they need.
Telemedicine has worked very well over the last year, and if it continues to do so for the remainder of the temporary legislation, I cannot see any reason why it cannot be made permanent. There seem to be additional advantages that are not necessarily Covid-19 related, such as reducing the cost to women living in deprived conditions. This will become increasingly important post Covid-19 as more and more people experience increasing financial hardship.
I support the continuing availability of the campaign that is currently being called “Pills by Post”.