WOMEN should be allowed to carry out early abortions at home, medical leaders claim.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has called for easier access to essential healthcare, such as contraception and terminations.
It says women should be offered a Skype or phone consultation with a doctor.
They would then collect the tablets from their nearest pharmacy and be able to take them from the “comfort and convenience” of their own home.
The abortion pill is two separate medicines, mifepristone and misoprostol, which are administered separately.
Until last year, those wanting to terminate a pregnancy before ten weeks' gestation had to take the two drugs at a medical centre - 24 to 48 hours apart.
But ministers changed the rules to allow women to take the second abortion pill at home in a landmark move.
Now the RCOG want officials to go one step further.
Its new report, Better for Women, aims to remove barriers to accessing care by making more use of technology such as Skype and telemedicine.
Professor Lesley Regan, president of the RCOG, said: “Our Better for Women report raises many important issues around women’s healthcare including easy access to contraception, abortion and fertility services.
"In 2018 the Department of Health and Social Care greatly improved women’s experience of abortion care when it allowed women to take misoprostol, the second drug used to affect an early medical abortion, at home.
"Since then women no longer have to suffer the distress or embarrassment of bleeding and cramping pain during their journey home.
“To support this new best practice guidance, the Department of Health and Social Care should also consider allowing women after their assessment, to take mifepristone [first abortion drug] in the comfort and convenience of their own home.
"This would improve the accessibility of early medical abortion care for women, particularly for those who live in rural areas, or those with child caring commitments." The report calls for “access zones” around abortion clinics to stop women being harassed.
And it also reiterated the RCOGs support for the decriminalisation of abortion up to 24 weeks across the UK.
Research involving more than 3,000 women reveals 37 per cent were unable to access contraception services locally, while 60 per cent struggled to access abortion care.
The RCOG said one-stop women’s health clinics must be set up to provide healthcare needs for women - including in the evenings and at weekends.
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In 2018, there were 200,608 abortions across England and Wales – an increase of four per cent on the previous year.
A spokeswoman for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “We absolutely support this sensible, evidence-based call from the RCOG.
“Women can safely use both medications for early medical abortion at home following a consultation with a healthcare professional.”
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