Over 10,000 UK women who took at-home abortion pills in 2020 were hospitalized

Over 10,000 UK women who took at-home abortion pills in 2020 were hospitalized

The devastating truth about DIY home abortion has been revealed after freedom of information requests found that over 10,000 women required hospital treatment in England in 2020 after suffering serious complications.

An investigation, which included 85 freedom of information requests submitted to National Health Service (NHS) trusts, has shown that 1 in 17 women who used pills-by-post abortion services in 2020 suffered from side effects so severe that they required hospital treatment.

The investigation found that 5.9% of women required treatment because of incomplete abortions, with women retaining parts of their aborted babies.

3% of women required surgical evacuation of the remains of an unborn child after abortion pill failure.2.3% of women were treated for haemorrhages.

The complication rate mirrored similar studies and reports, with the investigation concluding that: “We can say that complications arising from the failure of the medical abortion treatment are common and should be planned for.”

The investigation, led by Percuity LTD and headed by consultant Kevin Duffy, also found that abortion providers and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) did not report abortion pill failure as a complication, despite such failures leading to hospital treatment – meaning that less than 1-in-5 complications were reported.

Kevin Duffy said: “This is the disturbing truth of abortion care during the pandemic that has not been reported to the government by providers…”

“It demonstrates clearly what needs to change and why the government must not make DIY home abortion telemedicine permanent. The time to end it is now well overdue.”

DIY home abortion was introduced in response to lockdown at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In total, from the start of April 2020 to the end of September 2021, 180,182 women in England had abortions at home using abortion pills, misoprostol and mifepristone, or taking at least one pill, misoprostol, at home after taking mifepristone at a clinic.