Morning after pill debate rolls on

Women who are seeking an easy early abortion are required by current law to go to a clinic to be administered the necessary pills. While some would rather be at home, they are looking to Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, to change this regulation, according to a ruling by a judge.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, also known as Bpas, failed to convince a high court of Britain of the need to throw out current and functioning UK law in favour of allowing women to take the second of two pills at home, rather than supervised in a clinic.

The Bpas lawyers wanted to take the words lightly by interpreting the 24-48 hours that separate the two pills as indicating it was safe for the woman to take the second at home, following the first visit. Their argument hinged on the imagination that there is no clinic close enough to prevent the second trip from being a hardship. Playing on inconvenience of a potential early abortion happening on the way home, they continued their argument on such grounds.

The court, in its fairness, ruled against such fanciful interpretations. However, all was not lost for Bpas, since the burden was thrown onto the Government. Both the Abortion Act of 1967 and its amendment in 1990 provide the Secretary of State authority to adapt to advances in medicine. The Health Minister has the power to extend the location and conditions for approval of the change in location, in relation to medicine and health management.

Bpas’ Ann Furedi, chief executive, decrying the decision, declared, “We will continue to assault these kinds of decisions until we achieve our goal, regardless of so-called evidence or rationale. It is clear what is best for a woman is her choice and comfort. If other countries are allowing this, then why shouldn’t we?”