The Welsh Government has announced plans to allow women to take abortion pills at home, following a Women's Equality Party campaign.
Wales to allow women to take abortion pills at home
Published on 18 April 2018
The Welsh Government yesterday announced that it would allow women to take abortion pills at home.
It comes after the Women's Equality Party's home use campaign that drew attention to the calls from medical experts and the testimony of women who had suffered because of rules written in the 1960s.
One of those women, Claudia, wrote an open letter to Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Hunt - the Welsh and UK health ministers - highlighting her experiences and urging them to make the change.
Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said:
“We are delighted that Vaughan Gething has listened to our campaign and will now ensure women in Wales can take abortion pills at home.
“This is wonderful news, and the Welsh Government deserves credit for listening to the medical experts and ordinary women who spoke about their own experiences as part of the campaign. It is now time for Jeremy Hunt to correct this anachronism and bring England into line with Wales and Scotland.
“The testimony of Claudia and other women who suffered needlessly because of these outdated rules put beyond doubt the need for change and the Welsh Government has responded to their voices.
“At the Women's Equality Party, we consider any restraint on women’s reproductive rights as violence against us and are the only UK party campaigning as a priority to ensure access to abortion as a primary right under healthcare law.
“In England, the Department of Health and Social Care has claimed that it is ‘monitoring the evidence’ on home use. The evidence is not disputed: there is no medical, moral or practical reason why misoprostol should not be taken at home, and Jeremy Hunt should act – or he will be seen to be ignoring the medical advances made since the 1960s and causing women needless discomfort and distress.”
Claudia Craig, who wrote an open letter to Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Hunt about her experience of almost miscarrying before she reached home because of the outdated rules, said:
“I am delighted that women in Wales will not have to go through the same ordeal in the future.
“This decision underlines that there is no reason not to allow home use. It should be a no-brainer for Jeremy Hunt to introduce this in England as well, so that women there are not treated differently to those in Wales and Scotland.
“This is not just the practical thing to do but the right thing to do as well.”
Today’s announcement brings Wales into line with Scotland and many other countries which follow the World Health Organization’s recommendation that home use should be available.
England, however, still requires women to go to a clinic to take both abortion pills because of rules that have not been updated since the 1960s.
Here's the video of Vaughan Gething making the announcement, via BPAS, which has been calling for home use.