Abortion pills may continue to be sent by post in both England and Scotland after the Covid-19 threat passes if controversial proposals from Scottish National Party ministers are adopted. 

The proposals would keep the temporary arrangement in Scotland after the virus is no longer deemed a major risk to public health, meaning women would no longer have to attend a hospital clinic to procure abortion pills.  

The Scottish ministers have opened a public consultation, while the UK Government has promised to publish a similar consultation for England for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation

This proposal is being put forward despite the fact that the abortion clinics have not closed down during the pandemic, even while so many treatments, including cancer treatments, have been put on hold that the NHS is fast becoming a “Covid-only health service”

While the abortion “service” has been prioritized because it affects women, breast-cancer treatments have been sidelined. Statistics for England reveal that the number of women being assessed by a cancer doctor after referrals fell by 60 per cent in April, compared to the same month last year.  

By contrast, the number of abortions in April rose by a quarter on the previous year. Following the Scottish Government’s announcement about retaining the abortion-pills-by-post policy, pro-life campaigners warned that there had been cases in England of babies dying in recent months “after their mothers took the pills when months past the legal and medical limit, and abortion providers have been found to be sending out the pills without even basic checks”. 

Documents from the Scottish Government admitted that there were concerns that some women “may underestimate the gestation of their pregnancy”, raising the risk that women may mistakenly take the pills after the 24-week legal abortion limit. Further, the report warned that abolishing the need for a face-to-face appointment would make it more difficult to detect if women were victims of domestic abuse or human trafficking.  

It should be obvious that “anywhere abortions” exacerbate such problems — or can we look forward, given the constraints placed on health provision in the context of Covid, to receiving the relevant surgical instruments through the post so we can perform our own operations in the comfort of our own homes? 

As it is, abortion providers can conveniently escape any responsibility for any inconvenient outcomes by citing “women’s choice”, even though, in addition to admitting that the pills have been taken well over the legal limits, NHS staff revealed that two women died taking this oh-so-safe “medication”.  

Despite such dangers, clearly the public is being softened up for the next step in the process of treating abortion as just another personal choice — just as, last month, Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on choice at the end of life, claimed that “MPs were coming around to supporting some restricted form of assisted dying”.  

Mitchell’s vague mention of “some restricted form of assisted dying” means, one supposes, the “strict safeguards” that accompany such laws, are designed to ease their passage into law and to be swiftly discarded afterwards — just as abortion was legalized in 1967, supposedly for a few “hard cases”.  

Since then we have racked up a total of 9.5 million abortions, but now that abortion has been made so much easier, the numbers are on an ever-increasing trajectory to the stratosphere.  

If Mr Mitchell gets his way, doubtless we will not have to wait 50 years before what has been dubbed the “National Death Service” sends euthanasia pills through the post after a cursory phone call. Perhaps we will be so relaxed about it that the pills will be available over the counter in the local supermarket.  

It comes as no surprise that in both Scotland and England the governments are now proposing to make their supposedly temporary “anywhere abortions” permanent, since, as well as being just one item on the abortion advocate’s shopping list, they may curb future demand for health care.  

Both governments insist on calling abortion a health problem, although it is exempt from the normal regulations and safeguards which apply to actual illness; but if they see the problems of life as being caused by life itself, then logically death is the most effective “cure” — and also the cheapest. 

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Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St...