COVID-19 Statement and Call for Action

Although several countries allowed self-use of medical abortion pills during COVID-19 pandemic, telemedical abortion is still not available in most of the countries.

Even though abortion pills have been available since more than 25 years[1] and are as safe as commonly used painkillers available over the counter[2], most countries do not allow telemedical abortion services and self-use of abortion pills.

The measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have hampered access to safe abortion care. Those living in unsafe home situation, can no longer keep their abortion a secret because everybody has to work at home. Other individuals are not allowed to travel or might  not want to take a long journey by public transport to visit a clinic with the chance of contracting a COVID infection.

The economic impact of the COVID crisis caused many people to loose their jobs, and cannot afford to pay for an abortion service anymore.  Because of overburdened healthcare systems in many countries there is a lack of healthcare providers, logistical capacity or operation rooms. Many schools and childcare facilities are closed, and it can be impossible to find or afford the replacement needed to be able to get an abortion in a clinic.   Therefore, countries like, for example, the UK allowed for telemedical abortion services as long as COVID is an health emergency[3]. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) has created a special guideline for abortion care in Corona times focusing on the safety and use of  telemedicine without visiting a clinic. [4]

15 Years of Women on Web

Women on Web works as a telemedical abortion service since 15 years. So far, we answered more than 1 million emails and provided medical abortions to over 100.000 pregnant people in need. Many scientific articles have published research[5] into the outcome of the service and proved it is a very safe alternative for women who have no access to local services.

Especially now, during the Corona crisis, telemedical abortion services are the solution. Pregnant people can receive the abortion pills by post and do the abortion at home so they don't have to go for a physical visit to a clinic. An abortion with pills has many advantages over surgical abortions, the abortion can be done together with a partner or friend, women can control the  timing of process, there is no need for expensive doctors time, anaesthesia and operation rooms. It gives individuals control over their own bodies and lives.

Recently, the World Health Organisation also released a statement  that it recommends that individuals in the first trimester (up to 12 weeks pregnant) can self-administer mifepristone and misoprostol medication without direct supervision of a health-care provider.[6]

I hereby would like to call upon governments to finally start trusting pregnant people and make abortion pills available in pharmacies or over the counter so that they can be self-administered.


Dr. Rebecca Gomperts

Director of Women on Web




[2], Page 69