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Home use of misoprostol in England is supported by evidence

In England, women seeking medical abortion are required to make two trips to the clinic, the first to receive mifepristone, and the second to receive misoprostol. This regimen places barriers in their way, particularly in rural locations or if they have work or childcare commitments. Taking misoprostol in the clinic also means that some will start to abort on their way home. In their editorial, Lord and his co-authors, who include the FSRH and RCOG Presidents,  describe how re-interpretation of the 1967 Abortion Act in Scotland and Wales has changed policy to allow the use of misoprostol at home. They argue that simple action by the UK Health Minister to designate the home as an eligible site for misoprostol administration would also permit change of policy in England. Such action would pave the way for a service that is both evidence-based and responsive to women’s needs. See page 155

Developing patient-based quality indicators in abortion research and practice

Safety and effectiveness are two key indicators of the quality of abortion care worldwide. But people’s experiences accessing and engaging with services go beyond these two important domains. Darney and colleagues' editorial discusses additional measures of quality, including interpersonal experiences and clinical practices. They propose the development of quality of care metrics that are evidence-based and validated to reflect the perspectives of patients. This article challenges us to think beyond the ‘safe versus unsafe’ dichotomy in abortion research and practice, and to address other important aspects of the patient experience. See page 159

Sex robots and health

Sex robots (’sexbots') are anthropomorphic devices created for sexual gratification. Despite their fictional representation in films and in television series such as Westworld, they are no longer the stuff of fiction alone. In their eye-opening but objective editorial, Cox-George and Bewley assess evidence for potential health implications of the expanding sexbot industry. They found  no reports of primary …

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