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The UK is Facing a “Crisis Point” in Abortion Provision, Experts Say



The UK is Facing a “Crisis Point” in Abortion Provision, Experts Say

(CTN News) – According to experts, the availability of abortion services in the UK is at a “crisis point” due to increased demand and widely varying access to treatment.

Medical practitioners noted the “terrifying” situation in which women must travel great distances for appointments or wait weeks to be seen.

In an interview with the Guardian’s Today in Focus podcast, Dr. Jonathan Lord, the director of MSI Reproductive Choices UK, a prominent abortion service provider, said:

“There is no question we are witnessing unprecedented demand at the moment. All service providers claim to have their busiest times ever.

Lord, a consultant gynecologist for the NHS, said that the spike was caused by “the economic downturn, the cost of the living problem, and the capacity to get excellent quality contraceptive” via GPs and sexual health services, all of which have been impacted by the larger NHS crisis.

British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) Chief Executive Clare Murphy previously stated:

“The epidemic, and the measures enacted by the government, have influenced women’s pregnancy choices.” Women had to make difficult choices because of “economic instability and employment insecurity,” she said.

Government statistics show that a record 214,869 abortions occurred in England and Wales in 2021.

In the first two weeks of this year, MSI treated 47% more patients than it did at the same time in 2022, and it provided 51% more phone consultations, according to fresh statistics from the Guardian.

According to MSI, which operates more than 60 clinics in England and Wales, the personnel working overtime and on weekends is the only reason wait times have remained constant.

To meet demand, the number of surgical abortion appointments has been raised by 38%.

Insufficient funding for services and the commissioning of abortion care, according to a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report released in November, have led to lower standards of care for women and “marked variations across the UK, with women accessing abortion in many areas being denied the rights they should expect from the NHS constitution.”

Chronic staff shortages and the closing of sexual health services during the epidemic have worsened the issue.

With just five UK institutions providing specialized surgical abortion services, increased demand in the private sector is placing further strain on NHS services.

According to Murphy, what we are now seeing is the result of several ongoing stresses that the service has been dealing with for a long time.

However, the epidemic and the present intense constraints on the NHS have reached a breaking point.

She said that BPAS was considering shutting several abortion facilities while talks with commissioners were still ongoing.

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Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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