An undercover investigation in the United Kingdom found that women have received the abortion pill in the mail without confirming their identities or the gestational ages of their unborn babies. The lack of accountability for meeting those basic medical standards puts women at risk of life-threatening complications.
At the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock changed the rules for administering the abortion pill to allow women to get a prescription after only a phone consultation with no in-person visit to a provider’s office.
Volunteers from Christian Concern provided made-up names and false hospital registration information in their calls to Marie Stopes U.K. and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which send the abortion pills in the mail, a service they call “Pills by Post.” On Monday, Christian Concern announced the results of its investigation: Neither organization made any attempts to confirm the callers’ identities, nor did they check to make sure the patients were actually registered with the medical practice they listed.
Perhaps most dangerous for the women, Marie Stopes and BPAS did not
verify how far along the women’s pregnancies were. Although the BPAS
claims abortion pills are safe, its website still lists as possible
complications a 2 percent chance of retaining some fetal tissue, a 2 in
1,000 chance of infection or hemorrhaging, and a 1 in 100,000 chance of
death for the mother. Those risks are on top of the drugs’ common side
effects, which include vomiting and diarrhea. And the chance of
complications increases as the pregnancy gets farther along.
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