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Home use of misoprostol: is it really safe and appreciated?
  1. Anthony McCarthy1,
  2. Greg Pike2
  1. 1 Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, London, UK
  2. 2 Adelaide Centre for Bioethics and Culture, Adelaide, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anthony McCarthy, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, London SE11 4AB, UK; anthonydmccarthy{at}

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Regarding the Scottish decision on home abortion of 26 October 2017, Lord J, Regan L, Kasliwal A, et al claim that “Home use of misoprostol in Scotland is relatively new. The larger abortion services in Scotland report widescale uptake of home use of misoprostol among women and that it is highly appreciated with no negative impact on services”. The Scottish ‘abortion services’ consulted are not named and the reference for the bold claim that home use of misoprostol is ‘highly appreciated’ is ‘S Cameron (co-author), personal communication 2018’. Such statements do not inspire confidence.

In response to some other claims made in the article: women having better control over timing in practice will mean less precision in timing, since medical supervision is supposed to guarantee ‘correct’ time between drugs and a ‘correct’ route of administration, whether sublingual, buccal or vaginal. If these are departed from, the effectiveness goes down, and the complications go up. This is well known.

As regards travel and onset of bleeding, the Creinin et al paper1 referred to by the authors had a bleeding onset …

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  • Funding This study was funded by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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