Women in Scotland are the first in the UK to be allowed to take the abortion pill at home.
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has written to all health boards to say the drug misoprostol can be taken by women outside of a clinical setting.
The change brings Scotland in line with other countries such as Sweden and France.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service has been lobbying to change the law in the UK for years.
The medical abortion treatment involves taking two different medicines.
The first tablet is called Mifepristone.
It blocks the action of the hormone progesterone, which is needed to maintain the pregnancy.
The second tablets are called Misoprostol.
These tablets can be given on the same day, or 24, 48 or 72 hours apart.
Not all women are suitable for a medical abortion, although they may still be suitable for a surgical abortion.
The change in Scotland would mean the second tablet Misoprostol – would be administered in a clinical setting but could be taken by women at home.
Ann Furedi, chief executive of the BPAS, said: “We thoroughly welcome the Scottish government’s decision.
“This will spare women not only the difficulties associated with having to make more than one clinic visit – childcare, transport, time off work – but it will also spare women from the risk of symptoms on their way home, having taken the medication in a clinic.
“It is simply perverse that a woman arriving at a BPAS clinic in England and Wales with an incomplete miscarriage can be given the medication to take in the comfort and privacy of her own home, while a woman seeking an abortion must take that same medication on site.
“We hope that the government will follow Scotland’s lead and roll out this important policy change across the rest of Great Britain.”
Within an hour of taking misoprostol women often experience heavy bleeding – usually on the way home from the clinic.
This is a particular concern for women in Scotland who often have to travel long distances to access abortion and maternity services.
Source: BCCI- Top Stories