5th March 2011
Risky business: It is against the law for abortion pills to be taken without the supervision of a doctor or specially-trained nurse
Abortion pills are being sold online for just £15 by British firms.
Women can have the tablets delivered in less than a week, enabling them to terminate their pregnancies illegally and in secret.
It is against the law for the pills to be administered without the supervision of a doctor or specially-trained nurse.
Side-effects include bleeding and severe infections. They can even kill if not taken correctly.
Campaigners warned yesterday that the availability of the pills amounts to modern-day ‘backstreet abortion’.
There are no figures for the numbers of British women buying these tablets online but there are concerns that increasing numbers are turning to them.
There is a fear that underage schoolgirls too afraid to discuss an unwanted pregnancy with their parents or GP will use the websites.
The pills are far cheaper than having the treatment privately, which can cost up to £500.
They also enable women to terminate their pregnancies quickly and quietly in their own home rather than having to make several trips to a clinic, which may involve taking time off work or school.
They need only fill in a quick online form giving their date of birth, address, and details of any allergies or medication they are taking.
A Mail investigation has discovered that the pills are widely available from online pharmacies including several British-based firms for between £15 and £28 a time.
DANGERS OF DIY TERMINATIONS
Side-effects from taking the tablets include excessive bleeding, infections of the womb and, in rare cases, blood poisoning.
Women who have this type of abortion are twice as likely to need hospital treatment as those who have the procedure done surgically.
Up to 1.5 per cent are admitted to hospital suffering from complications, compared with 0.6 per cent who have surgery. Around 1 per cent develop pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the womb which can cause infertility.
And in some cases women have lost so much blood they have needed a transfusion.
Most suffer pain or cramps in the abdomen. Diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting are also common. There have been two known deaths caused by early medical abortion tablets since they were first offered in Britain in 1991
United Pharmacies, based in West London, sells the tablet for just £15. An employee claimed they were ‘very popular’ with three to four packs bought every week.
The company said they were out of stock, with a new delivery expected within three weeks.
But the Mail was able to purchase the tablets from another firm, Eurodrugstore, which is also based in London, for £27.70 plus £9 delivery.
They arrived within three working days, in an authentic-looking pack complete with full instructions.
The drugs are used in hospitals or privately-run clinics for ‘early medical abortions’, which can only be carried out within the first nine weeks of pregnancy. Women take two sets of tablets between 24 and 48 hours apart.
Dr Kate Guthrie of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: ‘There is still a social prejudice about abortions.
‘Women may turn to these websites because they are embarrassed or they are just so appalled by their pregnancy.
‘They might be reluctant to see their GP in case they think badly of them. They are effectively backstreet abortions.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1363227/Abortion-pills-sold-illegally-online-15.html#ixzz1FqP5fwbq