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Abortion: Safety

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 45958, tabled on 12 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department undertook a risk assessment before issuing the March 2020 Approval of a Class of Places approval enabling at-home abortions.

Answered on

27 May 2020

Powers under the Abortion Act 1967 were used to temporarily approve women’s homes as a class of place where both abortion pills can be taken for early medical abortion following careful consideration of the risks and issues. In particular account was taken of social isolation and social distancing advice, that services were closing and appointments being cancelled. The measures were put in place to ensure that the vast majority of women and girls could continue to access abortion services whilst limiting COVID-19 transmission. In addition, access to abortion is an urgent matter as the procedure’s risk increases at later gestations and there are legal gestational limits for accessing services. This change was made on a temporary basis only and is time limited for two years, or until the pandemic is over.