The evidence-based on 85 freedom of information requests to NHS trusts revealed that more than 1 in 17 women, around 20 a day, who used the pills by post service in 2020 needed hospital treatment. The findings have led campaigners to demand that the pills by post-service be ended because of the danger it poses to women. The service was brought in as part of the covid measures when people were being encouraged to stay at home but it is argued that it should be ended now that restrictions have been lifted.
Kevin Duffy, an independent consultant, who led the FOI investigation, said: “This is the disturbing truth of abortion care during the pandemic that has not been reported to the government by providers.
“This investigation exposes the reality of what thousands of women experiencing crisis pregnancies have been through during the pandemic. It demonstrates clearly what needs to change and why the government must not make DIY home abortion telemedicine permanent. The time to end it is now well overdue.”
The report published this week, by Percuity LTD, provides data, representing 45 million of the UK population, which the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has admitted it does not hold.
It reveals serious flaws in how complications are reported and how taking abortion care out of clinics and allowing women to take both abortion pills at home significantly increases safety risks.
The findings also expose that abortion providers and the DHSC are not reporting medical abortion treatment failure as a complication, even though at least 5.9 percent of women using the abortion pills need hospital treatment because of this failure.
Around half of these, or 3 percent of the total, require surgical treatment to complete the abortion.
Data from 127 NHS trusts also revealed that 2.3 percent of women having an induced medical abortion are subsequently treated at an NHS hospital for haemorrhage.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: “A failure rate of 1 in 17 women needing to go to hospital due to DIY home abortion is unacceptable.
“Imagine the scrutiny other medical treatments and services would face if they were sent through the post and had such a high failure rate of women ending up in A&E.
“For the sake of women’s safety and long term physical and mental health, the Government should stop the approval of pills-by-post abortion which was intended as an emergency measure in any case.
“It is not fair on women to be left to self-manage abortions at home with a significant risk of failures requiring hospital treatment, and often surgery. Parliament must act to protect thousands of women from harm.”