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Abortion decriminalised in Northern Ireland

Until 22 October 2019, the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 was the only legislation concerning abortion in Northern Ireland and rendered it effectively banned. However, this legislation has been repealed and now leaves Northern Ireland with one of the most liberal positions on abortion legislation in Europe. This editorial effectively summarises the journey to this point and proposes how services may be best devised to remove barriers to access that continue to affect other women in the UK.

BMJ 2019;

Further drug label development needed for OTC mifepristone and misoprostol

A non-randomised pilot study of 100 South African women sought to evaluate the clarity of a prototype drug label for an over-the-counter (OTC) combination pack of mifepristone and misoprostol for early medical abortion (EMA). Comprehension of key concepts conveyed by the label was significantly affected by the literacy level of the women. No key concepts scored greater than 80% for comprehension, the threshold set by the US Food and Drug Administration for development of drug labels. However, other concepts conveyed by the label, such as when to seek medical attention, scored …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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