Postal abortion pill now available in England

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  • “This was a vote for equality.”

    In health news today, the amended UK Abortion Act 2022 has been adjusted to mean that women will permanently be able to order abortion pills by post in England and Wales.

    Although this has been an option for the past two years, these measures were only introduced in March 2020 as a result of the UK lockdowns and were not set to be permanent.

    The postal option made abortion feasible from your own home instead of going into the clinic to have an abortion and available to many across Britain who were isolated. Instead of going to the clinic to have an abortion, e.g.

    After fierce campaigning at the start of the year, MPs voted to permanently change the Health and Social Care Act, legalizing abortion at home via the pill.

    When the bill was passed, Louise McCudden, who is MSI Reproductive Choice’s advocacy and public affairs advisor, shared: “We are delighted that MPs have voted to retain access to abortion care at home.”

    “This was a vote for evidence over ideology, a vote for reproductive rights and a vote for gender equality.”

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    “Making this safe and popular service a permanent option will particularly benefit those who struggle to attend face-to-face meetings, including those in abusive relationships, those with caring responsibilities and those without transport.”

    “Everyone chooses abortion for different reasons and under different circumstances. It’s important that we can offer options that take personal circumstances into account – and that includes taking both pills at home.”

    It is now believed that since 2020 when the pill was introduced, over 150,000 women in the UK have used it. Many have praised the government for taking the step towards more accessible healthcare.

    Studies have shown that both the science behind the pill, along with perceptions of how effective they are, are overall positive, with a February 2021 study concluding that at-home abortion options are “effective, safe, acceptable”, with further BMJ research published in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Journal found that 83% of patients said they preferred to be able to access medication by mail.

    Interestingly, further research has shown that women turn less to illegal measures, with 88% less demand for pills from illegal suppliers.

    What do you think of the new law?

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