Do it yourself controversy

Court battle for right to have DIY abortion at home screams today’s Daily Mail.

Ew! DIY abortion! That must be some weird, sick medical activity, right?

Women could have a ‘DIY abortion’ in their home within months under controversial plans to change the law.

They would be handed drugs to take to terminate their pregnancy in familiar surroundings rather than in a hospital or clinic.

Britain’s largest abortion provider is going to the High Court to try to scrap existing rules which state that abortion pills can be taken only under the supervision of a doctor or nurse.

No, in fact all this means is that women taking abortifacient pills may be allowed to take them at home, rather than the hospital (something that’s rather awkward at the moment, since you need to take two sets of pills a day or apart). Every check currently imposed on abortion would remain in place – women would still need to see two doctors beforehand, the drugs would remain only on prescription, and they would still be provided by trained doctors. The only difference is that women wouldn’t have to take the pills at the hospital, but could take them home. There’s nothing DIY about it, unless having some privacy while you take a pill counts as “doing it yourself”.

Obviously there are still some things they’d have to work out – for instance, how you’d check no-one overdosed or make sure the drugs were being used by the woman they were prescribed to (though this is a problem with all prescription drugs, not just abortion medication). But curiously, this isn’t the angle the Mail takes in its criticism. Instead…

A spokesman for Life, the anti-abortion charity, said: ‘Clearly, BPAS’s intention is to increase access to abortion yet further, by making it little more than a pill-popping exercise.

This is the only criticism in the article of the idea. No comment from anyone who has problems with this particular idea, only from people opposed to all abortion full stop.

(Incidentally, surely early term abortion is a “pill-popping exercise” anyway. I mean, there are pills, they are popped. The only difference to how abortion is carried right now is that one stage will take place somewhere else. That’s it.)

RopesToInfinity (of No Sleep ‘Til Brooklands) complained about Radio 5 Live having the same idea of “balance” – the most extreme views only, please! – on Twitter this morning, incidentally much more succinctly than this rambling post managed to.

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