CNA Staff, Apr 24, 2020 / 11:17 am
The president of the Scottish bishops' conference wrote Friday to the Scottish health secretary, saying the permission for women to self-administer both stages of a medical abortion at home during coronavirus is born of ideology rather than true concern for women.
“I believe it is profoundly depressing that in the midst of this unprecedented global pandemic when the resources of almost every government on earth are being diverted towards the preservation of life, especially the lives of the weak and vulnerable, the Scottish Government continues to act to end the lives of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society, the unborn,” Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen wrote April 24 to Jeane Freeman, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and a member of the Scottish National Party.
“It is more than disheartening that the Scottish Government should see fit to promote ‘abortion at home’ as though this were a trivial matter equivalent to taking any other medication at home. A position like this appears to be more a matter of ideology than of genuine and dispassionate concern for women’s wellbeing,” the bishop, a Benedictine, wrote.
The Scottish government has lifted restrictions on at-home medical abortions during coronavirus.
A medical abortion is a two-step process that involves the ingestion of mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks the effects of the progesterone hormone, inducing a miscarriage. Misoprostol is taken up to two days later, and induces labor.
Women in Scotland have been able to self-administer misoprostol in their homes since 2018. However, until recently, they had to take mifepristone at a clinic.
The medications will be delivered by mail.
Because of coronavirus-related lockdowns, the Scottish government has allowed at-home self-administration of mifepristone as well, following a phone or video consultation with a doctor.