Health min. wants abortion pill available through GP's

Edith Schippers (Photo: Commonst). (Edith Schippers (Photo: Commonst))

Public Health Minister Edith Schippers wants Dutch general practitioners to be able to prescribe a pill that would terminate a pregnancy in its early stages, she wrote in a letter to parliament on Monday, reports.

According to Schippers, a study done by the Dutch GP society NHG shows that this so-called abortion pill can be safely and effectively prescribed by a house doctor up to six weeks and two days into a pregnancy. Only after that does the chance of complications increase.

Currently women need to go to an abortion clinic or hospital to terminate pregnancy with a drug treatment. Schippers argues that women feel safer discussing such a step with their house doctor. And allowing GP's to prescribe the pill can also help in after-care and prevent repeated abortions.

Schippers wants the abortion pill to be available from GP's from next year, provided that the legislative amendment gets sufficient support in the Senate. Whether or not this will be achieved remains to be seen. Christian parties in particular are against easing the abortion law.