Abortions at home are safe — pilot study
Women who are less than nine weeks pregnant can safely have medical abortions at home, according to the head of a government-backed pilot project.
Abortion services for the 20,000 women who seek a chemically induced abortion every year could be transformed should the Department of Health's official evaluation of the pilot confirm initial findings.
Shirley Butler, the project manager of one pilot which has tested the abortions with 172 women patients since 2004, told the Guardian: "We haven't had any significant problems apart from one woman who had a slightly heavy bleed. In my opinion medical abortions outside of acute hospitals seem to be safe." She added that women who took part in the trial were positive about it.
Chemical abortions are available before the 12th week of pregnancy. Women who request it take one tablet of mifepristone at a hospital then return two days later to take four doses of misoprostol which causes a termination within hours. Usually women remain in hospital after taking the second pills until the abortion is complete. Under the trials they took both sets of pills within local community clinics to test the theory that it is safe to be outside hospital, and therefore at home.
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