Abortion: Telemedicine

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 24th March 2022.

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Photo of Feryal Clark Feryal Clark Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) evidential basis and (b) reasoning that underpins the Government’s decision not to make the telemedicine pathway for early medical abortion permanent.

Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government’s view is that the provision of early medical abortion should return to pre-COVID-19 arrangements. We have been clear that the approval was put in place on 30 March 2020 to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and ensure continued access to abortion services. This change was made on a temporary basis only and was time limited for two years, or when the provisions of the temporary Coronavirus Act 2020 ended, whichever was the earlier.

We assessed and considered evidence from the responses received to the Government’s consultation on the temporary approval which allowed home use of both pills for early medical abortion during the pandemic. The summary of these responses is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/home-use-of-both-pills-for-early-medical-abortion/outcome/home-use-of-both-pills-for-early-medical-abortion-ema-up-to-10-weeks-gestation-summary-of-consultation-responses

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