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#HancocksHealthcare - DIY Abortions

A healthcare plan rushed through Parliament in 2020 by Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is responsible for the deaths of an estimated 46,0001 children, and serious health implications for thousands of women.

Justified by Government orders to “Stay at home, Protect the NHS and Save lives”, these dangerous measures have achieved the total opposite.

So what is Hancock's harmful healthcare and why is it so dangerous to women and children? Read on to find out.

123,000 DIY home abortions took place from April to June 2020. This figure is estimated to be the same for the next three months, July to September

Stay at Home > Abort at Home

On 30th March 2020, just one week after the Coronavirus bill passed, Matt Hancock approved the biggest change to abortion measures since 1967, permitting both abortion pills to be taken at home rather than in a clinic. The decision was never debated, discussed or voted on in parliament. 

Hancock had already given approval in December 2018, for the home use of the second abortion pill only.

What are the risks of sending abortion pills by post?

  • No medical supervision
  • No way of accurately determining the gestational age of the child
  • Dangers controlling when and how these pills are taken
  • Dangers controlling who takes these pills
  • A far greater risk of injury to the “physical or mental health of the pregnant woman” than if she continued with the pregnancy”, breaching the 1967 Abortion Act

A mystery client survey into DIY home abortions revealed how easy it was for a “fake alias” to acquire abortion pills in the post on “emotional grounds''.

The survey revealed that:

  • the pills were dispatched after conversations with abortion providers lasting as little as 30 minutes
  • there was no requirement to give an NHS number or any formal identification before the pills were dispatched
  • the pills were received in 100% of cases

Matt Hancock’s approval of DIY home abortions in the middle of a pandemic is effectively the re-introduction of backstreet abortions. It is dangerous, unaccountable and needs to be stopped immediately.

Protect the NHS?

Far from “protecting the NHS”, Hancock’s new measures have wreaked havoc on women's health forcing many to attend their local Accident and Emergency Departments.

This includes:

What is the financial cost to the NHS?

Freedom of information requests from North Wales reveal abortion providers are charging the NHS £77 per phone consultation and £344.80 for the abortion pills. Therefore, the 46,000 DIY home abortions are estimated to have cost the NHS at least £19.4 million. This amount does not include all the additional costs to the NHS for women who experience further complications and long term health consequences from abortion.

Save Lives?

In six months (from April to September 2020), an estimated 46,000 children have died as victims of DIY home abortions, excluding all abortions taking place in clinics.

The total recorded UK Coronavirus deaths was 42,143 up to the end of September 2020.

Hancock’s DIY home abortion measures have done the opposite to saving lives. Instead, Hancock’s measures have more than doubled the UK death toll.

There are also reports of two women who have lost their lives as a result of taking these pills at home.

What happens to the babies’ bodies?

The BPAS instruction guide recommends that the “pregnancy remains” be “flushed down the lavatory or wrapped in a tissue, placed in a small plastic bag and put in the dustbin”.

Those flushed down the lavatory, ultimately end up in our sewage systems. Up to 46,000 babies have been discarded in this way since the new measures were introduced in March 2020.

Other suggestions by BPAS for disposing of the bodies include burying in private gardens and local parks.

Matt Hancock, while telling us to “save lives”, has not done anything to address the death and trauma these DIY home abortions have caused.

Effects of Pills on Women

For an overview of how these abortion pills work, see our page on Medical Abortion Procedures.

According to the "Treatment" Guide of BPAS, the UK’s largest abortion provider, normal side effects of these pills include:

  • uterine bleeding lasting up to 13 days. This bleeding is: “heavy, more than a period, and you may see blood clots (usually smaller than a lemon) or other tissue when you pass the pregnancy”
  • 1 in 10 women will experience “common side effects” including: "cramping, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea"2

According to the NHS, risks include:

  • 7% of medical abortions result in baby body parts being left behind requiring surgical follow up
  • serious complications such as heavy bleeding, damage to the womb, or sepsis: this happens to about 1 out of 1,000 women

In the Words of Women

During Lockdown:

“I have struggled to sleep, eat and function. Taken sick leave from work and everyday activities are a struggle. I am concerned for my future and have also had thoughts of suicide due to the unrelenting despair and anguish I feel. I did not have a dating scan and it all seemed very rushed to me due to the pandemic. The counselling was almost non existent and I worry about girls and women taking the pill that is currently being sent in the post. How is this helping women to make an informed choice?”

“I don’t speak for all women but I do feel it is one of the most detrimental women’s rights. To be handing out those tablets as if you are just getting rid of a headache is so sad. They are prescribed as pregnancy would have an effect on the mothers mental health! I can confirm that I had no mental health problems until I took that first tablet.”

Woman who contacted PASE (Post Abortion Support for Everyone) by email (shared with permission)


“It was a lot worse than I'd expected. The pain, the physical process was horrible”

Courtney Barnes from Kent, speaking to the Daily Mail


"...the pain was unbearable. I was lying on my bathroom floor, curled in a ball. I was sweating, my temperature was 39.8, I couldn't move….I had diarrhoea, I was being sick, I was shivering, shaking, sweating. I thought I was going to die."

Anonymous woman speaking to the Daily Mail


"It didn't feel like a medical procedure. It took me less time to sort out than to do my Asda shopping."

Anonymous woman speaking to the Daily Mail

Before Lockdown:

Nadia, from the UK, who took abortion “pills-by-post” ordered from Women on Web in 2014, wrote her testimony on their website, stating:

"I saw my beautiful 12 week old babys body there lifeless, the size of my hand and had tinyyyy little fingers, my beautiful baby was
there infront of me dead...I collapsed not too long after I wasn’t emotionally strong to face everything."3


Dora Esparaza, from the US, speaking to Her Truth in a filmed testimony, described her experience of abortion pills as follows:

"Within of 15 to 20 minutes I began to have severe cramps....too much to bear in front of other people. I was blacking in and out. It was very painful. Now that I have two sons I realise the pain I was going through was full contractions...this was not explained to me....I thought I was going to die...there was a lot of blood, there was a lot of clots...At one point it was so painful I had to grab the hand towel to keep from screaming because it was just so painful."

21 in 10 women are said to experience a combination of these | 3This testimony and many others of UK women were subsequently removed from their website. An unedited copy of these testimonies can be found here

What are we Doing to Expose Hancock's Harmful Healthcare?

Our Public Education Displays will be showing the images below, raising awareness on the tragic and harmful reality of Hancock’s healthcare measures. We will display the images below on large banners outside Downing Street and at other key locations in England.

This is the reality of Hancock's DIY home abortions:

Hancock's Healthcare banners


What Can You do to Help?

Hancock did this. Demand Javid end it.

We need your help to call upon the new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, to overturn these dangerous DIY home abortion measures.

You can email Sajid Javid at [email protected].

You can use the text below to copy and paste or for guidance:

Dear Mr Sajid Javid,

The DIY abortion measures introduced by your predecessor are having a devastating impact on human life up and down this country.

These measures have led to:

  • 248,000 babies killed and disposed of at home (into the toilet or domestic waste)
  • 14,000 women needing hospital treatment (1 in 17 women)
  • 7,000 incomplete abortions requiring surgery to remove the baby’s body parts or pregnancy tissue

We are asking you to:

  • End DIY home abortion permanently and with immediate effect
  • Reinstate real health care which protects mothers and their babies
  • Ensure proper data collection of abortion complications

The 1967 Abortion Act gives you this power, please use it.

Yours Faithfully,

[Your name]


Here are other ways you can help:

    • Keep updated with the campaign by following us on social media - links on menu at top of page
    • Please share this campaign with friends and in your networks, including the hashtag: #HancocksHealthcare
    • Your financial contribution will help us to increase awareness in order to inform and protect women and save lives
  • If you have had a home abortion and want to share your experience to help warn others (can be anonymously) please email: [email protected] (support also available).

Thank you to everyone who signed the petition and filled out the Government public consultation. These both closed on 26 February 2021.