'Backstreet' Abortions Are Back...

Or, at least, they will be if the BPAS get their way. According to The Telegraph...

'Abortion provider, BPAS, is demanding that women be allowed to take the second of two drugs for an early medical abortion in the comfort of their own homes rather than in clinics.

The organisation, previously known as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said the Abortion Act does not take into account modern advances that mean terminations before nine weeks can be induced with drugs without having to resort to surgery.

Currently women have to attend the abortion clinic to be provided with the first drug, which stops the pregnancy progressing, and then she has to return 24 for 48-hours later for the second, which causes the miscarriage.

Doctors have said it is unnecessary for women to return to the clinic for the second drug and experience in other countries shows it is safe and acceptable to give them the medicine to take at home. Women having early medical abortions have warned they are worried about miscarrying on the journey home after being forced to attend the clinic for the second drug. They are legally able to leave the clinic once they have taken the second drug and can miscarry between one and six hours later.

BPAS has launched the legal action to have the interpretation of law changed so that instead of saying the all medication must be prescribed and administed in the clinic, it says it must be just' prescribed and issued'. It had hoped the change could be negotiated with the Department of Health but has resorted to legal action after little progress was made.'

John Smeaton of the SPUC, provides us with some key facts about RU486 and misoprostol, the drugs that induce abortion, in his post today. Here they are...

  • The woman is directly involved in the abortion by having to take the pills herself.
  • The nature of the drug means that the woman must live with her abortion over the course of a number of days. The president of Roussel Uclaf, the original makers of RU486, said “The woman must live with this for a full week. This is an appalling psychological ordeal”. (Edouard Sakiz, chairman, Roussel-Uclaf, August 1990)
  • The woman may abort at home and suffer the distress of seeing the expelled embryo/foetus, which she is required to keep and return to the hospital or clinic to help determine if the abortion is complete. If BPAS challenge is successful, women taking misoprostol will go into labour at home. This can be very distressing as labour, usually associated with child-birth, now becomes associated with the delivery of a dead child.
  • Use of RU486/misoprostol may cause any of the following: haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion, severe pain requiring strong pain killers, incomplete abortion, rupture of the uterus, vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, muscle weakness, dizziness, flushing, chills, backache, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, palpitations, rise in temperature and fall in blood pressure. The number and diverse nature of the side effects of RU486/misoprostol point to the fact that these are powerful chemicals.

I had thought that the reason abortion clinics were sanctioned by the Abortion Act (1967) was to ensure that abortions were conducted in a 'safe' and 'controlled' environment. I doubt somehow that abortions by medical means are actually counted by those who publish statistics on abortion in the United Kingdom, so they may not be included in the 200,000 nascent human lives taken annually by the medical profession and various doctors who have taken the hippocratic oath to defend and honour human life. 

Klein R, Raymond J, and Dumble, in their book, 'RU-486 Misconceptions Myths and Morals' (Spinfex Press 1991) state categorically...

"The cost of RU486/PG abortion, for example, is not cheaper for women, but it is much cheaper for the hospitals and clinics..."

I see. Is the recession hitting Marie Stopes or something? Also, it rather sounds as if the abortion industry, of which the BPAS is certainly an active component, after all, they are 'demanding' this, would rather like to see more abortions taking place, rather than fewer. After all, if the girl is at home killing her unborn child medically, you don't have to worry about her health and safety and it frees you up to spend more time on those more messy and complicated surgical abortions back in the clinic. Everyone's a winner...everyone, that is, apart from the victims: unborn children and their mothers who have to live with the horrendous consequences of their choice for the rest of their adult lives.

The case is due to be heard at the High Court on January 28th. More on the history of this drug later.