Katherine O'Brien, Associate Director of Communications and Campaigns at BPAS, said:
"There are two main risks from this medication. Firstly, there is absolutely no evidence that this non-treatment works in terms of preventing miscarriage. Secondly, there is also a very real risk of haemorrhage from using these medications. The fact that anti-abortion groups are encouraging women down this path demonstrates that they do not care about women. This is an attempt to prevent abortion at any cost – including a woman’s health and wellbeing.
We are deeply concerned about the process by which this medication is being prescribed, as it appears that this doctor is not providing accurate information about the potential risks of this treatment, nor are they explaining that there is no evidence it is effective. If women do not receive accurate, impartial advice, they cannot consent to treatment, and this would then be a matter for the GMC to investigate.
So-called abortion reversal treatment is a tactic that anti-choice groups in the UK have adopted from their counterparts in the US. Protest groups such as 40 Days For Life intercept women attending BPAS clinics and try to convince them to use these potentially dangerous treatments. At the start of the pandemic, the government introduced temporary permission for women to receive early abortion medication by post following a telemedical consultation. This has meant that tens of thousands of women have been able to end a pregnancy from the safety and privacy of their own homes. The government are currently considering whether to revoke permission for telemedical abortion care, and in doing so force women to attend unnecessary in-clinic appointments and face anti-choice groups and their medical misinformation. We are calling on the government to protect telemedical abortion care and ensure that women can access impartial, accurate medical information in their own homes."
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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.