In a first for the United Kingdom, Scotland has announced that it will allow women to take misoprostol, one of the two pills required to induce a medication abortion, at home.
The current legislation mandates that mifepristone and misoprostol, known collectively as the “abortion pill,” be administered inside a hospital or clinic with the approval of two doctors, according to The Guardian. Soon, women will be permitted to take the second pill, misoprostol, at home, reports ITV.
Medication abortions account for an overwhelming majority — 82.5 percent — of pregnancy terminations performed in Scotland. Jillian Merchant, vice-chair of the campaign group Abortion Rights U.K., said that the upcoming changes will “remove the current rigmarole of a woman requiring to attend the hospital to be provided with the first pill and then sent home, only to … go back to the hospital to be administered the second pill and then sent back home again.”
In the United States, many states already allow medication abortions to be administered remotely via telemedicine — or, in other words, with an off-site clinician speaking to patients about their suitability for the abortion pill and giving them followup care via video chat. A recent study showed remote medication abortions are just as safe as those performed in the presence of a medical professional.