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UK News

UK Christian group's undercover investigation into home abortion reveals 'unsafe' and 'illegal' practices

by Marcus Jones

An undercover investigation into the abortion industry's lockdown activity has found that pills which bring about a termination are being given out without due diligence.

Campaign group Christian Concern instigated eight phone calls to see if BPAS and Marie Stopes UK were abiding by the law and properly caring for women.

During lockdown, a law change has meant women are given access to abortion services over the phone, without the need to see a doctor. A decision which is currently being legally challenged by Christian Concern.

The eight calls saw volunteers give false names, dates of birth and gestational dates. In one case, the caller gave a date that could only have led to an abortion beyond the 10-week safety limit given in the regulations.

Christian Concern says it shows the services are wide open to abuse and leading to dangerous and illegal 'DIY' abortions.

It claims abortion drugs could be secured using a third party and then forcibly given to a pregnant woman, or hidden in food or drink.

Kevin Duffy, a former Global Director of Clinics Development at Marie Stopes International, who led the investigation, said: "The investigation clearly demonstrates that abortion at home by pills-by-post, is not safe, and on many occasions it oversteps, legal boundaries without any proper scrutiny.

"Each of the scenarios revealed by this investigation would not have happened under the pre-lockdown process. Previously as part of the routine care, the woman would first be examined and assessed in a clinic by a professional service provider before being consented for an abortion, which could have resulted in her being able to safely self-administer both tablets at home.

The findings come as MPs prepare to debate the issue of relaxing the UK's abortion laws this week.

An amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill would see abortion for any reason decriminalised up to 28 weeks.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: "This undercover operation has exposed the dangers to vulnerable women as a result of the change in the law. This unsafe, and frequently illegal service, is provided by an abortion industry which wields huge influence at the heart of UK government.
"Pre-action disclosure in our court case reveals the hot line abortion executives have to senior civil servants at the heart of the health and social care department. This has to be investigated and overhauled.

"The issue of abortion is coming to a head. This public health, mystery client exercise, conducted and regulated to the highest professional standards, has exposed the chilling disregard for proper process at the heart of the abortion industry." 

BPAS labelled the investigation a "meaningless exercise" while Marie Stopes said it trusted women to given honest information and "the only people who abuse that system are radical anti-choice organisations desperate to restrict access to legal abortion care".

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