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Church of England calls for end to 'pills by post' abortion laws

by Sophie Drew

The Church of England has called for the "pills by post" law, which temporarily allowed women to take their abortion pills at home, to be scrapped.

As part of the Covid measures, abortion pills were sent to those wishing to terminate their pregnancy, instead of requiring women to come into a surgery. 

The Church of England has said that the temporary legislation is having a "negative impact" on women, and should be removed when other Covid measures ease at the end of March. 

The change was implemented in March 2020 to limit infection risk, and reduce the number of people attending medical practices. 

The pills can be taken in the first ten weeks of a pregnancy, following a consultation by phone or video.

The Church of England is in "principled opposition" to abortion in general, but has also stated that it recognised "that there can be strictly limited conditions under which abortion may be morally preferable to any available alternative." 

During a meeting of the General Synod, Mark Sheard, chairman of the church's mission and public affairs council, said: "In our submission to the 2021 government consultation on the effects of the temporary measure to permit home use of both pills for early medical abortion, we submitted that the provision has had a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of women and girls accessing these services.

"For that reason, we argued that the provisions should lapse at the latest when the temporary provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 expire on March 24, 2022."

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