Measures allowing early at-home abortions in Wales made permanent
Health Minister Eluned Morgan has confirmed temporary arrangements made during the Covid pandemic allowing early abortions to be carried out at home are being made permanent.
Introduced in 2020, the change to existing guidelines allowed women and girls to take pills for early medical abortion up to nine weeks and six days gestation in their own homes, following a telephone or e-consultation with a clinician, without the need to first attend a hospital or clinic.
Describing the decision as “a progressive step which demonstrates Welsh Government’s commitment to supporting women” the minister said that following a consultation she was satisfied “the arrangements are safe and bring significant benefits to women and girls who wish to access abortion services, with reduced waiting times.”
“Welsh Government consulted on the temporary arrangements between December 2020 and February 2021 and I have carefully considered the responses along with subsequent information on the safety of abortion services under these arrangements in making this decision,” she added in a written statement.
“New guidance has been developed by clinicians working along with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare and British Society of Abortion Care Providers to enable the NHS in Wales to implement the change as effectively as possible.
“The guidance includes steps to ensure women accessing the service are not subject to coercion or exploitation in line with Welsh safeguarding protocols. The guidance also emphasises the need to provide advice and support to women on contraception and reproductive health.”
Earlier this month the UK Government confirmed that similar measures in England would be extended for a further six months.
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