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Temporary abortion measures to make process safer

Temporary abortion measures to make process safer

Thursday 09 April 2020

Temporary abortion measures to make process safer


Women in Jersey will be able to take pills for an early abortion at home as part of new temporary measures to make the process safer for the duration of the health crisis, Express has learned.

GPs will now also be able to give women an initial telephone consultation before referring them to a termination clinic.

The changes have been introduced with the help of Deputy Louise Doublet, following the advice of Dr Fiona Nelson, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

As part of the temporary measures, which aim to reduce contact between patients seeking an abortion and their doctors to help guard against the spread of covid-19, part of the tablets given for the early medical abortion will be administered at home rather than at a clinic.

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Pictured: Part of the tablets given for the early medical abortion will be administered at home rather than at a clinic.

GPs have also now been given a direction to provide initial telephone consultations to women seeking an abortion. This would allow the GP to then refer the woman to the Termination of Pregnancy Clinic via email. 

Deputy Doublet welcomed the introduction of the temporary changes and thanked the Health Minister, Deputy Richard Renouf, for facilitating conversations with Dr Nelson.

The St. Saviour Deputy is also hoping for a temporary suspension of the seven-day period between the first and second consultation. 

Under Jersey Law, a woman must wait at least seven days after her first consultation before seeing a gynaecologist or obstetrician who is authorised to carry out abortions, and must present a certificate from her first consultation. 

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Pictured: Deputy Doublet has asked the minister to put in place a temporary suspension of the seven-day “cooling-off period."

Deputy Doublet has asked the minister to put in place a temporary suspension of the seven-day “cooling-off period”, on the advice of Dr Nelson. She is working on a proposition to that effect, but said she hoped the Minister would make the decision without her needing to publish it. 

“It’s adding an unnecessary level of stress when we are already in a time of great stress, in a time of crisis,” Deputy Doublet said.

She also explained that having to wait seven days could mean some women are risking going beyond 12 weeks of pregnancy, if they presented at 10 or 11 weeks, when it is not practical for them to travel to terminate the pregnancy. 

Deputy Doublet added: “No woman wants to have an abortion, but sometimes situations arise that a woman finds herself pregnant and she does not want it, it is just about ensuring safe and legal access to abortion during that crisis.”

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