Alone, but not alone.

Pills-by-post has brought notable change for vulnerable women living with an abusive partner at home. The approval for telemedicine abortion, in which the woman does not need to first visit a clinic, has made it much easier for an abusive partner to coerce a vulnerable woman into having an abortion in the privacy of her own home; a short video clip below shows such as case.

Of course, this is not how the abortion lobby are promoting this; instead, they have been celebrating pills-by-post as a lifeline:

  • For women in abusive relationships who are unable to leave their homes, pills-by-post has truly been a lifeline.

BPAS and Marie Stopes UK try to assure us that their staff have been trained to ensure best-practice safeguarding when consulting with a vulnerable woman by phone. The reality is that many abused women will not, or cannot, easily admit to this on a phone consultation and certainly not when their abusive partner is sitting beside them during these calls.

Gina lives with an abusive partner who wants her to have an abortion, something that Gina does not want to do. She was hoping that she would be able to meet in private with a counsellor who could help her to find a way through this, but the temporary telemedicine abortion process has trapped at home with her abuser. He knows that she does not have to leave home, she does not need to visit a clinic, but instead she can make the call from home and he can be there to make sure she gives all the right answers; and he can be there when the abortion pills arrive in the post to make sure Gina does exactly what he wants.

In this clip you will hear the full extent of the safeguarding questions from the MSUK abortion provider:
Abortion provider: Can I ask if there’s anyone in the room with you at the moment?
Abuser: gesticulates making a cut-throat hand movement.
Gina: No, I’m on my own.
Abortion provider: Feeling quite safe to take the call today?
Abuser: makes eye-contact with Gina.
Gina: Yes, that’s fine. Yeah.
Abortion provider: Thank you.

Abortion provider: And do you take any recreational drugs?
Gina: No.
Abortion provider: Can you confirm that you’re sure of your decision to terminate the pregnancy.
Abuser: gesticulates and gains eye-contact with Gina.
Gina: Yeah.
Abortion provider: For legal purposes, could you briefly explain your reasons for requesting the termination?
Abuser: sits back, folds his arms, ‘job done’.

This is a still from the video of Jill’s call with BPAS, no need for the full video clip as the safeguarding discussion is quite short:
Abortion provider: Yeah. Hi, I’m ###. Are you in a good place to talk privately?
Jill: Yeah.
Abortion provider: Yeah, okay.

The Secretary of State may have had good intentions when granting his approval of telemedicine abortion at the end of March last year, he was simply bringing in an emergency, temporary measure to help avoid the risks of COVID-19 infection. But, as is often the case, there have been many unintended consequences. Making it easier for an abuser to coerce his vulnerable partner into having an abortion at home was not intended but it is the reality. The only way to fix this is to end the temporary approval and to revert to the prior arrangements in which a woman must be consulted in-person at the clinic before having her abortion.


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