Romanis, EC, Mullock, A and Parsons, JA (2022) The Excessive Regulation of Early Abortion Medication in the UK: The Case for Reform. Medical Law Review, 30 (1). 4 - 32. ISSN 1464-3790

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Early medical abortion (EMA) involves the administration of two medications-mifepristone and misoprostol-24-48 hours apart. These routinely used medications are recognised as safe and effective by the World Health Organization which recommends this combination of medications as a safe form of abortion until nine weeks' gestation. Despite the safety and effectiveness of this drug regimen, there exists excessive regulation around EMA. This is despite new regulations introduced in Northern Ireland in 2020 and (temporary) changes made in 2020 to allow at-home administration of mifepristone in Great Britain (following earlier changes to permit home use of misoprostol). We argue that the excessive regulation of EMA is inappropriate because it fails to recognise that abortion is essential healthcare. Further, the regulation constitutes disproportionate interference with clinical discretion and service organisation because it is medically unnecessary and prevents abortion providers in the UK from adapting their service provision in line with emerging evidence of best practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: VC The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KD England and Wales
K Law > KD England and Wales > KDC Scotland
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2023 08:44
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2023 08:44

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