Decision brings Scotland in line with the US, France and Sweden
Women in Scotland will be the first in the UK to be allowed to take abortion pills in their own homes - a controversial decision both heralded as a progressive step forwards and condemned as marking a return to the days of dangerous backstreet abortions.
Across England, Wales and Scotland, most abortions happen before 12 weeks with the use of drugs to induce miscarriage. “These medical abortions accounted for 82.9% of terminations performed in Scotland in 2016,”
The treatment involves taking two medicines - mifepristone and then misoprostol. Women often experience heavy bleeding within an hour of taking the latter.
Under current legislation, a woman must take the pills - issued with the consent of two doctors - inside a hospital or licensed clinic. The Scottish government’s revision of the licensing of misoprostol - announced today by public health minister Aileen Campbell - will allow women to collect the misoprostol pills and return home before taking them.
Those in favour argue that “allowing the pill to be taken at home will spare women from making additional trips to clinics, which can complicate childcare commitments as well as involve transport costs and time off work”,