Skip to main content

Early Medical Abortion: Telemedicine Service

Volume 709: debated on Tuesday 1 March 2022

16. What plans his Department has to take steps to permanently implement the telemedicine service for early medical abortion. (905790)

The Government will end the temporary approval put in place at the beginning of the pandemic. We have extended the temporary approval for six months until midnight on 29 August 2022. From that point, abortion services for early medical abortion will return in line with pre-covid regulatory requirements. As with any healthcare service, this measure will be kept under review.

Can my hon. Friend explain how the decision to end telemedicine for early medical abortion supports women who responded to the Department’s own consultation, how it works in line with the Royal College of General Practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Royal College of Midwives, and what the dangers are in ignoring their advice when pulling together a women’s health strategy?

The temporary approval was put in place during the pandemic to address a specific and acute medical need to reduce the risk of transmission of covid-19. It was recognised that without it, significant numbers of women would not have been able to safely access abortion services. Thanks to the success and impact of the national vaccination programme, the situation is now very different. In making this decision, the Secretary of State has considered all the risks and benefits regarding the temporary approval.