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Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Jonathan Ashworth (LAB - Leicester South)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department will publish its response to its consultation on the home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks' gestation.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
13 Jul 2021

Questioner: Gareth Bacon (CON - Orpington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to collect data on the number of women presenting in clinical settings as a result of complications arising from (a) incomplete procedures and (b) retained products of conception following an early medical abortion at home; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Department is undertaking a project to review the system of recording abortion complications and we anticipate this work will be completed later this year. The review will cover all data on complications arising from abortion.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
13 Jul 2021

Questioner: Gareth Bacon (CON - Orpington)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to issue guidance on abortion pill reversal services as part of a commitment to increasing choice for women on reproductive health in Women's Health Review; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Department does not issue clinical guidance.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
13 Jul 2021

Questioner: Edward Leigh (CON - Gainsborough)

Question

What assessment his Department has made of the future of the provision allowing both sets of abortion pills to be taken at home.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Government has undertaken a public consultation on whether to make permanent the current temporary measure for home use of both pills for early medical abortion. We are considering all evidence submitted and plan to publish our response later this year. The temporary measure will be kept in place until a decision has been made.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
7 Jul 2021

Questioner: Carla Lockhart (DUP - Upper Bann)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 14 December 2020 to question 128881, Abortion: Drugs, what measures are in place to ensure that abortion pills sent by post are used by no-one other than the intended recipient.

Answered by Helen Whately

The clinic will supply medicines obtained through the regulated supply chain, appropriately labelled for individual patients to be safely used only by those patients. The pills are only supplied following the patient’s consultation. Abuse of the temporary measures by the passing on or selling of abortion pills remains unlawful and subject to criminal sanctions.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
5 Jul 2021

Questioner: Bob Blackman (CON - Harrow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that calls to abortion providers in response to complications arising from early medical abortions are adequately followed up by those providers; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Department’s Standard Operating Procedures, which all independent abortion providers must comply with, set out that all providers should have protocols in place covering support for women following an abortion procedure.

Abortion providers will discuss possible complications with the woman during the consultation and women will be provided with written advice and information about possible symptoms, including those which would necessitate urgent review. Women have access to a 24 hour telephone helpline should they have any concerns.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
5 Jul 2021

Questioner: David Jones (CON - Clwyd West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commission independent research on the impact of early medical abortions on (a) those experiencing domestic violence, (b) trafficked women and sex workers and (c) other vulnerable groups before any decision on their continuation is made.

Answered by Helen Whately

There are no plans to do so. commission research on these issues. The Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women asked questions on the impact of making permanent the temporary measure on people with protected characteristics. The consultation also sought views on the potential for making permanent home use of both pills for early medical abortion to reduce or increase inequality in health outcomes experienced by different socioeconomic groups. The consultation has now closed and we will be considering all evidence submitted and plan to publish our response later this year.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
5 Jul 2021

Questioner: Bob Blackman (CON - Harrow East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice his Department has provided to coroners on women who are prescribed early medical abortion pills by post and medicate with them beyond the 10 week legal and licensing limit; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Department has not provided such advice.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
1 Jul 2021

Questioner: David Jones (CON - Clwyd West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's consultation, Home use of both pills for early medical abortion, which closed on 26 February 2021, whether individuals or organisations other than Ministers or officials of his Department (a) have and (b) have had access in real time to the responses to that consultation received by his Department; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Helen Whately

A external company has been contracted by the Department to undertake independent analysis of consultation responses. They are able to access data for reporting and analysis purposes at the Department’s request and are supporting the impartial analysis of responses to the consultation on the temporary approval. The strength and robustness of evidence or research submitted as part of this consultation will be assessed and considered alongside any potential conflicts of interest.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
1 Jul 2021

Questioner: David Jones (CON - Clwyd West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's consultation, Home use of both pills for early medical abortion, which closed on 26 February 2021, what steps he is taking to ensure the impartial assessment and evaluation of empirical evidence collected in the course of that consultation.

Answered by Helen Whately

A external company has been contracted by the Department to undertake independent analysis of consultation responses. They are able to access data for reporting and analysis purposes at the Department’s request and are supporting the impartial analysis of responses to the consultation on the temporary approval. The strength and robustness of evidence or research submitted as part of this consultation will be assessed and considered alongside any potential conflicts of interest.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
25 Jun 2021

Questioner: Andrea Jenkyns (CON - Morley and Outwood)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made by the Midlands Coroner investigating the case of abortion pills being used at home at 28 weeks gestation in May 2020.

Answered by Alex Chalk

The Ministry of Justice has responsibility for coroner law and policy but individual local authorities have operational responsibility for coroner services. Progress in the investigation of the case is a matter for the Senior Coroner concerned.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
23 Jun 2021

Questioner: Caroline Lucas (GRN - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to make permission for early medical abortion treatment to be received by post following a telemedical consultation a permanent option; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Government committed to undertake a public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation for all eligible women. The consultation has now closed and we are carefully considering all of the responses received, and plan to publish our response later this year. The temporary measure will be kept in place until the response is published.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
21 Jun 2021

Questioner: Scott Benton (CON - Blackpool South)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to abortion pills sent through the post, what estimate his Department has made of the number of women who have chosen not to take those pills so received since those arrangements have been in place; what steps his Department is taking to ensure that untaken abortion pills are retrieved or safely disposed of; and what assessment his Department has made of the risks to (a) children of finding and taking those pills and (b) women of taking those pills at a later date and past their expiry date.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Department has made no such estimate. Abortion providers should provide women with information on what to do with the pills if they choose not to take them after they have been received, for example returning pills to a pharmacy, clinic or general practitioner for safe disposal.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Scott Benton (CON - Blackpool South)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's consultation, Home use of both pills for early medical abortion, which closed on 26 February 2021, whether his Department has met with (a) relevant stakeholders, (b) hon. Members and (c) Peers to discuss that policy; and when he plans to publish a response to that consultation.

Answered by Helen Whately

We have met with a number of Parliamentarians and a range of stakeholders to discuss the consultation and implementation of the temporary measure. The consultation has now closed and we are carefully considering all of the responses received and plan to publish our response later this year.


Written Question
Abortion: Drugs
10 Jun 2021

Questioner: Fiona Bruce (CON - Congleton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 30 March 2021 to Question 164679 on Abortions: Drugs, what her Departments's timeframe is for examining the collection of abortion complications data with partner organisations; and what the (a) form and (b) content of that examination will be.

Answered by Helen Whately

Scoping of the Department’s project to review the system of recording abortion complications data is currently underway. Abortion complications data is collected via the HSA4 abortion notification form. However, it is recognised that the data is limited as not all complications will be known to the practitioner at the time the form is submitted.

To improve the accuracy of data collected, the Department will work closely with a range of statutory bodies, professional organisations and abortion providers to identify additional sources of information that could be used to compliment complications data collected via HSA4 abortion notification forms and improve the flow of data on abortion complications between different organisations, such as independent and National Health Service abortion providers and wider NHS health and care services.

We anticipate this work will be completed later this year.