Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs, said:
"In order to advance their campaign to restrict women’s access to telemedical abortion, anti-abortion campaigners pretended to be women needing an abortion used our service in the hope of finding evidence of wrong-doing. They found no such thing. They used fake names but provided real addresses, and all gave gestations within the current 10 week limit . They were all offered support and care entirely lawfully.
"Services are under intense pressure at the moment so it beggars belief that these campaigners would undertake this completely meaningless exercise, wasting precious resources, to prove that a woman who says she needs an abortion is able to access the help she needs. The undercover campaigners who rang our helpline with tales of distress presented by an unplanned pregnancy - financial hardship, existing children, unpreparedness for a baby, were treated with compassion and kindness by our nurses and midwives, and offered the help they claimed they needed. This is exactly how it should be. Many women currently need our support, including those who have struggled to access contraception during lockdown and women whose financial stability has been rocked by the pandemic and who simply cannot continue an unplanned pregnancy. Women’s ability to access care in their own homes has been transformative during this period, particularly for those in abusive relationships who have previously had to seek help illegally online as they are unable to travel for in-clinic care under the watchful eye of a controlling partner. We are shocked but sadly not surprised these campaigners, who understand nothing of women’s lives, are trying everything possible to remove this lifeline from them."
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/