On Friday 29 June 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething AM, has announced that there are new rules for women who are terminating pregnancy, allowing women to take the second abortion pill (Misoprostol) outside a hospital environment, for example at home.
The Welsh Government said that this decision came after listening to the views of clinicians and women’s groups, and guidance will now be issued to health boards in Wales . This will result in an increase in choice for women, and reduce clinical resources in the NHS.
Eleri Butler, Chief Executive of Welsh Women’s Aid, said:
“The rules of women having to complete the abortion process in hospital were over 50 years old, so we welcome today’s announcement. We need to listen to women and make the necessary changes to give them full autonomy over their bodies. This idea may seem radical to some, but we have seen it work in the US, Canada and France, and we are confident it will work in Wales.”
“However, we also know that many women in Wales are still having their access to abortion artificially delayed in other ways, as they are having to wait to see their GP before they can access gynecological services. Many are paying up to £600 or more to access more timely services because they have had to use private clinics. Delays can also lead to the need for surgical abortions because it is too late for less invasive medical termination. Access to abortion still requires further financial investment across Wales, so that all women can receive excellent and time-appropriate support.”