“Going to GP clinic in current crisis impossible for many women”, says Bríd Smith TD
People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith has called on the government, as part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis, to follow guidance from the World Health Organisation and allow remote access to Early Medical Abortion (EMA).
Deputy Smith said: “On Saturday, in London, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives issued guidance on providing abortion as an essential service during Covid-19 with specific information on telemedicine and treatment with minimal contact.
“We are all aware that access to normal healthcare services will be disrupted during the pandemic so, we will have to embrace greater use of remote consultations and allow women to take both abortion pills at home. Currently the first pill, mifepristone, has to be taken in the doctor’s surgery and the second, misoprostol, is taken at home.
“At a time when women, doctors and nurses may be self-isolating and hospitals over-run with COVID-19 cases, it makes sense that early medical abortions are provided safely by telemedicine and that pills may be prescribed by nurses and midwives as well as by doctors.”
She urged the government to move quickly: “health professionals, including GPs, are already under too much pressure and anyone finding themselves unintentionally pregnant at present is likely to be under even greater stress than normal. Delaying these changes will only mean women having to make unnecessary journeys to have abortions at later gestations.”