Early medical abortion at home: consultation

We are seeking views on the future arrangements for early medical abortion at home across Scotland. The responses will help to inform our decision on whether the current arrangements should continue once there is no longer a significant risk of COVID-19 transmission. 


1. See https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act/protected-characteristics

2. Abortion Act 1967, section 1.

3. See https://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/cmo/CMO(2017)14.pdf (Annex A) for a copy of the October 2017 approval.

4. See Finch et al – 'Impact of self-administration of misoprostol for early medical abortion: a prospective observational cohort study'. BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2019. WHO – 'Medical Management of Abortion' - https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/medical-management-abortion/en/. Nice guidelines on abortion care - https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng140

5. Please note the data provided has not gone through the same robust checking process as official statistics.

6. See https://www.fsrh.org/news/fsrh-rcog-statement-abortion-rates-2020-covid19/?mc_cid=2560f0ddd7&mc_eid=4da0480511

7. See NICE guidance leaflet for more information on potential complications from medical and surgical abortions - https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng140/resources/abortion-before-14-weeks-choosing-between-medical-or-surgical-abortion-patient-decision-aid-pdf-6906582255

8. It was agreed with SACP members that significant complications should include: hospital admission, haemorrhage (over 500ml of blood) or requiring blood transfusion, severe infection requiring antibiotic treatment, a missed ectopic pregnancy or complications due to the pregnancy being at a later gestation than anticipated.

9. See https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng140/resources/abortion-before-14-weeks-choosing-between-medical-or-surgical-abortion-patient-decision-aid-pdf-6906582255

10. See Heller et al – 'Barriers to accessing termination of pregnancy in a remote and rural setting: a qualitative study', BJOG, 2016

11. See https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act/protected-characteristics

12. See https://www.gov.scot/publications/fairer-scotland-duty-interim-guidance-public-bodies/pages/1/

13. c.87. Section 1(3A) was inserted by section 37(3) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.

14. Made on 26th October 2017.

15. Note – these are the guidelines as at 31 March 2020. These guidelines may be updated from time to time.


Email: AbortionConsultation@gov.scot

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