The government has come under fire from Christians for making the pills by post abortion service permanent.
The service was introduced during the pandemic so that women could access abortions during lockdown.
It meant that women could have a phone or e-consultation with an abortion provider and be sent the pills in the post up to the tenth week of their pregnancy.
The measures were only supposed to be temporary but the Department for Health and Social Care announced on Tuesday that ‘DIY’ home abortions will be made permanent from 30 August.
Christian campaign group CARE has warned that extending home abortion rules “puts women in greater danger” and “ignores harms”.
They point to an investigation last year which found that over 10,000 women who used the pills by post service needed hospital treatment because of adverse side effects.
The investigation followed the deaths in 2020 of two women who had taken abortion pills at home, and leaked warnings about the harms from a senior NHS midwife the same year.
A spokeswoman for CARE said that the decision by ministers to make the service permanent was “highly irresponsible” and “removes vital safeguards”.
“There is clear evidence of increased harm to women and babies under the new approach,” she said.
“It is hard to establish meaningful and informed consent given the lack of in-person consultation. There is also a heightened risk of dangerous medical complications occuring.”
She called on ministers to reverse their decision.
“Safeguards in place before the pandemic were there for a reason. The new framework is simply incompatible with the level of care that should be expected under normal circumstances,” she said.
“Ministers should reverse this dangerous decision before further evidence of harm again pregnant women emerges.”