Life is concerned at news today that there had been significant increases in people buying abortion pills on the internet and calls for a crackdown on online traders in order to protect women.
Reacting to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) revelation that it seized 375 pills last year, up from just 5 in 2013, Life Spokeswoman Clara Watson said:
“We commend MHRA for its work so far but do wonder how many more of these pills slipped through the net. It is time for a thorough investigation and crackdown on these sellers who are placing the health and safety of women at risk.
Some of the blame for the apparent dramatic increases in the illegal sale and use of these pills must be laid at the feet of the abortion industry which has been promoting the online marketing 0f abortion pills as part of their push for abortion decriminalisation. The statement by BPAS Chief Executive Ann Furedi that we should ‘remove clinically unnecessary barriers to treatment’ is highly irresponsible. Abortion pills are not meant to be taken by everyone and can cause serious complications. In fact, an Australian study of 7000 abortions found that abortion pills were actually less safe than surgical abortions. Statistics from the UK Department of Health also clearly show that there was more than twice the number of complications for medical abortions than surgical abortions in 2015.
We recognise why the abortion industry would want the legal barriers to the online sale of these pills to be removed. It would generate far greater income for the industry than the millions already being raked in every year from taxpayers. We also, however, recognise the duty of the Department of Health and the law enforcement agencies to protect vulnerable women from exploitation and to keep them safe. We would also condemn any agency which aids and abets the breaking of laws meant to keep women safe from harm.
The ultra- easy access which women have to abortion in England and Wales does raise questions as to why anyone would go online to purchase these drugs. It is not unreasonable to assume that many of these women need help and support. We must reach out to them with compassion, care and support rather than encouraging them to place their health and safety at risk by purchasing these pills on the internet.”