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In most parts of the UK, the abortion pill can only be taken at a clinic, under the supervision of a medical professional. However, women in Scotland have recently been offered the option of taking the pill at home after seeing a doctor. Being able to take the medication at home can make a big difference to women’s experiences of pregnancy termination. However, this option is still not available in other parts of the UK.
A medical pregnancy termination involves taking two doses of medication, usually about two days apart. The second dose will trigger the pregnancy termination and it is this pill that women in Scotland are now able to take at home. Being able to take the abortion pill at home is much more than just a convenient choice. In addition to making it easier for women to take the medication at a time and place that suits them, it can also make the experience much easier.
Under the current guidelines, both pills must be taken under the supervision of a doctor. However, in most cases, women will return home soon after taking the pill at the abortion clinic. The pill will still take effect while the woman is at home, but she will have to travel while the medication is working. Making the journey home while experiencing cramps and bleeding is something that many women would prefer to avoid.
Home is usually the best place to be when you are feeling unwell or undergoing an emotional event. Being able to take the abortion pill in the comfort of your own home can therefore make a big difference to women who are having a pregnancy termination. The evidence suggests that taking the pill at home after seeing a doctor is just as safe as taking it at a clinic. Given the success of the changes to the medical abortion guidelines in Scotland, taking the pill at home may one day become an option in the rest of the UK too.