One of those changes has been a shift in how women (as well as trans men and non-binary people) have been able to access abortion care. We saw the start of this change back in 2017 when the Scottish Government enabled women to take one of the two pills needed to have an abortion (mifepristone and misoprostol) at home. This was already a big improvement for women, meaning they didn't need to travel to a clinic twice in a few days, with all of the childcare, work arrangements, travel costs and other inconveniences that created.
During the pandemic, women in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy have been able to have an appointment by phone or video call before being sent both pills to take at home along with clear instructions, access to an advice line and pain management. Of course anyone who wants to be seen in person, particularly women who are unsure of their gestation date, or who have additional health concerns can still do that.
This is clearly a positive step for our ability to access abortion services - it allows us to take medication at a time and in a place of our choosing, avoids embarrassing and inconvenient bleeding on public transport or at work and, for women in rural and island communities, has a big impact on their ability to access an early medical abortion in the first place.
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