Ann Furedi, CEO of bpas, said:
"We welcome the confirmation we have received today that the government will re-instate telemedicine for Early Medical Abortion in England. This will prevent tens of thousands of women from having to travel needlessly to clinics and will also enable many of our healthcare professionals to provide teleconsultations and prescriptions from the safety of their own homes. BPAS staff have shown superhuman strength over recent weeks in order to prevent the collapse of services and ensure women can access the care they need. We thank them for their dedication during what continues to be an immensely difficult time for all those working in healthcare.
"Despite today’s announcement, we remain extremely concerned about the ability of women in other parts of the UK to access abortion care during the pandemic. In Northern Ireland, abortion care is now lawful, but services have not yet been established and telemedical abortion care is not permitted under the regulations produced by the government last week. As a result, women are being forced to travel hundreds of miles via ferry and public transport to clinics in England at a time when they are also being told to stay at home to save lives. We urge policymakers to now implement similar measures to permit telemedical abortion services in Northern Ireland as a matter of urgency."
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bpas is a charity which 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: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/