Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

PRESS RELEASE: Open Letter Regarding Abortion Pills

22 December 2017

Today, Abortion Rights, have published an open letter, in the Herald Newspaper, in support of the Scottish Government’s decision to allow women, for whom it is clinically appropriate, to take Misoprostal – the pill that completes an abortion – at home.

The move comes after recent reports that The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) intend to legally challenge the decision.

The letter has received widespread support and is signed by many organisations and individuals with expertise – nationally and internationally – in the clinical practice of abortion healthcare, the law of abortion, providing abortion services and advocating for women’s access to abortion as well as trades unions and parliamentarians.

Commenting on the support the letter has received Jillian Merchant, Vice Chair of Abortion Rights, said:

“The wide range of expertise and organisations whom have signed this letter clearly shows just how much support there is across Scotland for the Scottish Government’s decision to allow women, for whom it is clinically appropriate, to take Misoprostal at home.

The international evidence and studies clearly demonstrate the safety and clinical appropriateness of women taking one or both of the abortion pills at home. This provides more flexibility for women while maintaining safe and effective abortion healthcare.

 “This change is long overdue in Scotland. This already happens in the United States, France and Sweden. It also happens in Scotland currently, but only following miscarriage.

 “Patients are not required to take pills in front of the prescribing clinician for any other condition. Abortion should be treated no differently.

 “It is clear that the law allows Scottish Ministers to designate a patient’s home as a place where abortion treatment can be completed and we hope that any legal action raised by the anti-choice lobby can be defeated in the Courts.”



Notes to the Editor:


  1. Media contact for comment and interviews Jillian Merchant (07969 691 618 or arcscotlandonline@gmail.com)


  1. A recent study by Purcell et al, looked at women’s experiences of self-management of first trimester terminations. http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/140042/1/140042.pdf


  1. International Studies:


  1. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2016 Sep;134(3):268-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2016.02.018. Epub 2016 May 26.

Prospective study of home use of mifepristone and misoprostol for medical abortion up to 10weeks of pregnancy in Kazakhstan. Platais I, Tsereteli T, Grebennikova G, Lotarevich T, Winikoff B and


  1. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2014 Jul;93(7):647-53. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12398. Epub 2014 May 23. Medical abortion with mifepristone and home administration of misoprostol up to 63 days’ gestation. Løkeland M, Iversen OE, Engeland A, Økland I, Bjørge L. Free full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4670695/



  1. More than 75% of Scots are in favour of supporting abortion. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/family-relationships/scots-back-womens-right-choose- 6154265


  1. Abortion Rights has a Scottish Committee and local groups around Scotland. http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/category/local-groups/abortion-rights-committee-scotland/