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Pro-life group legally threatens Scotland gov’t for allowing chemical abortions at home

The decision marks a 'return to the days of backstreet abortions with no medical oversight.'
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Dorothy Cummings McLean By Dorothy Cummings McLean

Dorothy Cummings McLean By Dorothy Cummings McLean

EDINBURGH, October 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Scotland's ministry of health is now allowing pregnant women to administer a dangerous abortion drug at home that expels their dead babies. 

Scotland’s public health minister Aileen Campbell announced that women will be allowed to take home the abortion pill misoprostol. Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Catherine Calderwood, has written to health boards across the country that women may obtain the second pill in the chemical abortion process from a medical facility and ingest it at home. 

A chemical abortion (RU-486) involves two drugs taken at different intervals that alter the woman’s body so she becomes chemically toxic to the new life within. The first drug, Mifepristone, is a synthetic steroid taken orally that blocks her hormone progesterone. This shuts down her pregnancy-sustaining mechanism with the result that the developing baby, deprived of necessary life-support, starves to death and becomes detached from her uterine wall. 

The second drug, misoprostol, is given a day or so later. It initiates powerful uterine contractions that cause the woman to expel her dead baby.

The current UK legislation regarding abortion pills is that after they have been issued with the consent of two doctors they must be taken inside a hospital or a clinic. Scotland is the first nation within the United Kingdom to relax the legislation. 

There were 12,063 abortions in Scotland in 2016. The majority of these abortions (73.5%) were carried out before the baby was 9 weeks old. Of these, 89.4% were done with abortion pills, misoprostol followed by misoprostol. According to Scotland’s National Health Service, the “proportion of all terminations that are carried out medically was considerably higher in Scotland than in England and Wales.”

Pro-abortion activists welcome the government’s decision. They cited the discomfort that follows upon taking misoprostol, saying that women would be more comfortable at home. Painful cramping and heavy bleeding occur about an hour afterward. Side effects of the drug often include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, and weakness. 

But pro-life advocates say the stay-at-home chemical abortion plan endangers the lives of women who lack medical supervision if something goes wrong. 

“This is a highly irresponsible decision which threatens an explosion of bad mental health outcomes for women in Scotland,” said John Deighan, chief executive of Scotland’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). 

Deighan confirmed that SPUC is looking for a legal way to reverse the decision. 

“We have recently provided every Scottish Parliamentarian with solid evidence of the emotional and physical damage that abortion is having on women,” he said. 

“Do-it-yourself abortions are a much greater threat to mental health and this measure could one day prove to be a public scandal,” he added. 

Deighan also said that it marked a “return to the days of backstreet abortions with no medical oversight.”

“The reality is that this will have many vulnerable women who may be desperate about the situation they are in, pushed towards what is the easy option of being handed some drugs and sent home to stop being a problem for society,” he said.

Citing a failure of the government to protect the lives of citizens, Deighan stated that SPUC was taking legal advice. 

“The Scottish Government should be under no illusions,” he said. “We will pursue the matter vigorously. If that means action through the courts we will pursue it as far as necessary.”

The announcement of the policy change elicited much media attention across the United Kingdom, especially as it was made on eve of the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act. 

“The office has been madly busy the last couple of days,” SPUC Scotland’s Margaret Akers told Lifesitenews. “Many [media outlets] have been asking for comment. There have been multiple television interviews, articles and radio interviews.”  

In an article she wrote for the Scottish Daily Mail, Akers told the story of a man who called SPUC Scotland after his wife took the abortion pills. He sobbed as he told of his wife giving birth to a tiny baby. “They had not understood the realities,” she wrote. 


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