A spokesperson for BPAS said:
“The statistics from Scotland shows that telemedicine means more abortions are taking place at an earlier gestation, minimising the risk of complications, and providing a better experience for those accessing this service. While other healthcare services have been suspended or seen significant increases in waiting times, access to abortion has not only been maintained but has improved.
“For women in more rural areas, telemedicine has allowed them to get the care they need earlier, more easily, and without the need to travel. In cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh, where telemedicine was introduced earlier, it has become the most popular method of treatment.
“We know that all abortion providers saw a small increase in numbers at the beginning of the pandemic but all evidence shows that this has evened out over the year, with minimal overall change in comparison to 2019. What we do see is the impact of the pandemic on pregnancy choices, particularly in the most deprived areas, where poverty and financial instability will play a greater role in the decision to have a child.
“During a time of great uncertainty, with fears about health and wellbeing, economic instability, and loss of work; abortion services have been essential to ensuring people can make the right choice for them and their families. With the upcoming decision on whether to make telemedicine a permanent feature of abortion care, the Scottish Government has the opportunity to secure a world-leading reproductive healthcare framework. We hope to see women’s experiences kept at the heart of decision-making.”
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BPAS is a charity that sees almost 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice.
BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here.
BPAS intends to launch a not-for-profit fertility service in 2021, to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS-funded care.