WALES & NORTHERN IRELAND – Women should be able to take abortion pills at home, says Jenny Rathbone, Welsh Assembly Member

In October 2017, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer wrote to all health boards to say that misoprostol can be used by women outside of a clinical setting after use of mifepristone for early abortion. The change brings Scotland in line with other countries such as Sweden, France and the USA. In Wales, it is still illegal to do so, meaning that mifepristone and misoprostol 1-2 days later still both have to be taken in the clinic … Continued

FRANCE: CYTOTEC WITHDRAWAL ! – Consequences for African countries close to France of the imminent withdrawal of Cytotec (misoprostol) from the market in France

It seems Pfizer’s decision to withdraw Cytotec (their brand of misoprostol) in France has been ill-thought out. The reason given was that in October 2017 they received reports that its off-label use for induction of labour had caused complications in a few women. We reported at that time that they had the agreement of the French drug regulatory agency ANSM to stop marketing Cytotec in France altogether, even though no problems have ever been reported about … Continued

TASMANIA – Clinic providing fewer and fewer surgical abortions closes down and offers only medical abortion via telemedicine

In Tasmania, Australia, Dr Paul Hyland had been the main provider of surgical abortion for the past 17 years. But the increased demand for medical terminations over surgery, as well as the costs associated with running a clinic, were why he didn’t renew the lease at his clinic in Hobart this year. “In the year 2000, when we set up shop, there were 25 to 30 surgical terminations of pregnancy a week,” he told BuzzFeed … Continued

IRELAND – Websites asked to reveal how many Irish women buy abortion pills instead of travelling abroad for abortion

The Health Service Executive (HSE) of Ireland is responsible for the provision of health and personal social services for everyone living in Ireland, with public funds. In the context of the current hearings by the Eighth Amendment Committee of the Irish parliament, they have contacted groups that sell medical abortion pills through the internet to try to find out how many Irish women are terminating pregnancies in this manner. Women on Web has reportedly agreed … Continued

CANADA – Health Canada greatly reduces restrictions on medical abortion pills

  Health Canada has reviewed current evidence and removed quite a few restrictions on distribution, prescription, and dispensing of mifepristone+misoprostol in Canada. Mifepristone is now covered by federal regulations similar to other prescription drugs, with previous additional restrictions on distribution, prescribing and dispensing removed. Regulation of health professional provision is now in the jurisdiction of the respective health professional regulatory colleges and can be guided by evidence-based best practice, such as the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaeologists’ … Continued

FRANCE- Cytotec off the market in France from March 2018

    It has been reported in Le Monde and the Lancet that the pharma company Pfizer will withdraw Cytotec (its brand of misoprostol) from the market in France on 1 March 2018. From what we can gather, here is what has happened: Last year, some women in France complained that an obstetrician had used Cytotec to induce labour, that it had been very painful and that they had had a lot of side effects. This … Continued

GREAT BRITAIN- Britain celebrates 50 years of the 1967 Abortion Act…

  This week marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act in Britain. The conference: ‘The Abortion Act 1967: A Promise Fulfilled?’ was an action-packed, two-day event organised by Sheelagh McGuinness and Sally Sheldon, and hosted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The conference took attendees through the 50-year social, political and historical course of the Abortion Act in Britain, with excellent contributions by the panelists.   What is holding Britain back? … Continued

FRENCH POLYNESIA – Open Letter to Brigitte Macron (First Lady, France) from En Marche French Polynesia branch

  This open letter from women in the political party En Marche to the First Lady of France asserts the right of women in French Polynesia and New Caledonia to equal treatment in respect of French abortion law and policy as applies in France itself. The letter arose from a 19 July 2017 reform of the French health law with regard to abortion, which initially extended the reforms to French Polynesia and New Caledonia, but … Continued

Universal and free access to medical abortion pills urged by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is challenging the provincial governments of Canada to offer medical abortion pills free of charge to those who want them across Canada. They have given the provincial premiers a deadline of November, when the national ministers of health meeting takes place, to provide universal access. Medical abortion pills have been available in other countries for nearly 30 years and are approved for use in more than 60 countries, … Continued

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