Photo by Charles McQuillan
Artillery Row

The mourning after

“Revolutionary” DIY home abortion deserves the bloody title

Ever since full DIY home abortion was first introduced in March 2020, we have been bamboozled with strategically placed headlines telling us, not just how fantastic the new arrangement is, but that it should be made permanent.

Instructions request women to discard the “pregnancy remains” down the toilet

Sky, Metro, The New Statesman, Cosmopolitan, BBC and The Times have all got in on the agenda with Metro even taking it on as one of their charitable endeavours. The claims that accompany these numerous articles are not simply that these measures are safe, ethical and effective but that they constitute a “revolution” in health care. Head of BPAS Clare Murphy went so far as to call it “one of the few success stories of the pandemic”.

Once the euphemisms are stripped away, this seems a peculiar thing to say. These measures don’t terminate a pregnancy as if it were a legally binding contract; they co-opt women into intentionally poisoning and ejecting their own unborn babies in their own homes. The instructions that accompany the pills specifically request them to discard the “pregnancy remains” down the toilet or into domestic waste.

Perhaps it’s because the abortion industry has offloaded this grizzly task that they feel the need to praise it so highly? Far from empowering women, we have good reason to believe these measures have released a pandora’s box of suffering up and down the country.

One lady named Kirsty, who went through a DIY home abortion at the start of the first lockdown, described the morning after her abortion like a “scene out of a horror movie”. Far from making the whole affair more convenient, Kirsty said that it has destroyed her very understanding of “home” stating: “my home is no longer my home, my happy safe place. It’s the place that took away my child”.

1 in 17 women have required hospital treatment following DIY abortion

Another lady named Natalia said, “I was bleeding through the mattress, and I lay there for about three days on my own.” She said the whole experience “ruined” her.

Even a pro-abortion feminist, Lucy Burns, recently felt the need to write a whole book on the unexpected negative consequence of her DIY home abortion.

Yet for every Kirsty, Natalia and Lucy Burns, the other side will roll out another hardy feminist who bled “it” out with a hot water bottle and Netflix subscription, ready for work the next day. This is where the need for hard and impartial evidence comes in. Are these measures truly serving women?

The abortion industry and their vast network of allies claims that they are. A joint letter published by them, relying on their own data, suggested the impact of these measures has been “overwhelmingly positive”. A recent independent report revealed otherwise. According to a Freedom of Information Survey conducted by Percuity, data from 85 NHS hospital trusts revealed that a staggering 1 in 17 women have required hospital treatment following DIY abortion. That is 20 women a day, or 600 a month.

These results not only chime with the abortion pill manufacturer’s warnings but also with international data that places the incomplete abortion rate at 1 in 20 women. These findings also fill the long established data black hole on abortion complications that sits between abortion providers, the NHS and the DHSC.

Ushering in novel changes without accurate data betrays those the industry claims to serve

In June 2021, then health minister Helen Whately, in response to questions on whether Pills-by-Post is safe, said: “Abortion complications data is collected via the HSA4 abortion notification form. However, it is recognised that the data is limited as not all complications will be known to the practitioner at the time the form is submitted.”

Despite this, the abortion industry has continued signing HSA4 forms, effectively discharging women not only before the abortion has finished, but before it has even begun! Any issues following are left to local GPs or Accident and Emergency Departments to sort out. Sarah Dunn’s tragic death gives us just one example of where this procedure leads.

Irrespective of people’s views on abortion, these stories should flash a red flag. Ushering in novel changes to the way any health care is provided, without accurate data collection techniques in place, is reckless. Doing so when you know abortion carries high complication rates, and pretending otherwise, is evil. It is a clear betrayal of the very people the industry is claiming to serve. At the very least, it needs to be properly investigated.

The word “revolution” may be a good descriptor for these measures after all. Like most other bloody revolutions of the last few centuries, the lofty idealism being presented in the media only conceals the colossal human suffering taking place on the ground.

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