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29 January 2010

AR update, 29 January 2010

Women's opinions on the home management of Early Medical Abortion in the UK; Abortion doctors: credit where it's due; Abortion jabberwocky: the need for better terminology, and more ...

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A quarterly news digest is provided in the print edition of Abortion Review. You can download the print edition for free here.

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- 1. WOMEN’S OPINIONS ON THE HOME MANAGEMENT OF EARLY MEDICAL ABORTION IN THE UK

The Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care has published a study, led by Patricia Lohr of BPAS, of UK women’s opinions about home management of early medical abortion (EMA) with mifepristone and misoprostol.

The study found that most respondents (86%) would rather go home to complete an EMA than remain in a clinical setting. The majority (96%) found home management very or somewhat acceptable and 96% felt they could have obtained medical help easily if necessary. Most respondents (62%) would prefer home use of misoprostol as opposed to returning to the clinic to obtain and use the medication.

The authors concluded that home management of EMA is acceptable to most women in the UK who have experienced it and is, for many, preferable to a clinical setting. Consideration should be given to updating the interpretation of the UK’s 1967 Abortion Act to allow home administration of misoprostol.

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- 2. ABORTION DOCTORS: CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE

Commentary by Jennie Bristow, editor, Abortion Review.

Dr Wendy Savage, obstetrician, gynaecologist, academic and campaigner, has been shortlisted for the BMJ Group Lifetime Achievement Award 2010, in recognition of the her tireless work in improving reproductive healthcare, both for women who need abortions and those who give birth.

To see the work of an ‘abortion doctor’ being given due recognition as a part of mainstream healthcare should not come as a surprise. The same compassion and interest that motivates obstetricians’ and gynaecologists’ desire to make childbirth as safe and straightforward as possible, and to limit the pain and discomfort involved, has also motivated doctors involved in abortion care to minimise the complications of abortion. But unlike childbirth, the practice of abortion remains controversial.

Outside of the world of abortion provision and reproductive choice advocacy, the levels of skill required and compassion demanded of these doctors is rarely acknowledged. As a generation of women has grown up secure in the knowledge that they have access to safe, legal abortion, maybe this situation is beginning to change…

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- 3. ABORTION LAW REFORMERS: PIONEERS OF CHANGE

The 2007 BPAS publication ‘Abortion Law Reformers: Pioneers of Change’ presents frank interviews with many of the campaigners, doctors and parliamentarians who brought the 1967 Abortion Act into being, providing an inspiring sense of the spirit in which the Act was conceived and thoughtful reflections on how well the law has worked subsequently.

Download it for free here.

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- 4. THINKING ETHICALLY ABOUT EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION

An excellent article in the Journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States by Ron Hamel, PhD, examines the controversy over the use of emergency contraception in Catholic hospitals for victims of sexual assault.

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- 5. ABORTION JABBERWOCKY: THE NEED FOR BETTER TERMINOLOGY

The journal Contraception has published a lively critique of the misleading language used about abortion, by David A. Grimes and Gretchen Stuart.

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- 6.  ABORTION AND MENTAL HEALTH: EVALUATING THE EVIDENCE

An article in American Psychologist evaluates empirical research addressing the relationship between induced abortion and women’s mental health. 

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ABORTION REVIEW UPDATES

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