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Court of Appeal reviews Government decision to allow DIY abortions during lockdown

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The Court of Appeal is today hearing a legal challenge against the Government’s decision to allow DIY abortions at home during the lockdown. 

The Government relaxed the rules so that women could terminate their pregnancies up to 10 weeks.  Following only a phone or video consultation with a doctor, pills are sent out in the post. 

The judicial review has been brought by Christian Concern, which argues that the change to the law has put women at increased risk of harm and coerced abortions, and has led to the illegal circulation of abortion pills “on a massive scale”.

It says that Matt Hancock “exceeded powers” as health secretary to push through what it called “the most significant change in UK abortion law since the adoption of the Abortion Act in 1967”. 

“Only Parliament could change the law, which is that abortions may only take place in NHS hospitals and approved clinics,” Christian Concern said. 

Former director of Marie Stopes International, Kevin Duffy, submitted an expert report in support of Christian Concern’s challenge in which he said that Hancock had received “misleading” advice from civil servants on the safety of DIY abortions. 

Christian Concern’s own investigation revealed that abortion providers were failing to provide adequate checks on women using the ‘pill by post’ service. 

The investigation followed an announcement from abortion provider BPAS in May that it was investigating at least nine cases of pills being sent to women who were more than 10 weeks’ pregnant.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: “The case exposes the power and influence of the abortion industry at the heart of government.

“Since the home abortion ‘pills through the post’ service was introduced we have become aware of women’s lives being put at risk and the pills being used past the legal gestation date.”

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