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Women in the United Kingdom are now able to schedule abortion
consultations online through a new service provided by
International, a UK-based reproductive services provider.
The online booking service began Monday, making it the second cyber-service available through Marie Stopes International. The group also schedules vasectomies online.
Though the organization has clinics in 30 countries around the world, excluding the U.S., it says the service initially will only be available to UK clients. It hopes to expand the service in the near future to women overseas.
“Women have been requesting online booking from Marie Stopes International for some time,” said the organization’s spokesperson, Franca Tranza. “The idea of being able to read unbiased information about abortion and then make an appointment for a consultation from home, work or an Internet cafe is obviously very appealing.”
A pregnant woman will be able to select the clinic nearest her home and schedule her appointment for a consultation using a password, which is said to guarantee confidentiality.
“It was very important for us to be able to set up a confidential service as we know this is one of the things that women worry most about,” added Tranza.
Marie Stopes International has 21 pregnancy-advice bureaus across England and Wales and seven centers providing abortion services. Women who are unsure about whether to have an abortion can also book online to see a trained counselor.
At the consultation, “women will see a doctor or a nurse for a medical assessment, including a full medical history or ultrasound scan to assess gestation and to determine the grounds for the termination, under the terms of the 1967 Abortion Act,” according to Marie Stopes International.
If a woman decides to go through with an abortion, she schedules the appointment at the consultation.
“This is a very exciting development,” Vicki Saporta, executive director of the
National Abortion Foundation told WorldNetDaily. “They’re actually allowing women to book appointments online. I think it’s something that will happen eventually in the states as well.
“It’s certainly where medicine seems to be going,” she added, saying the Internet has made more information accessible to patients.
Saporta noted that while Americans may currently download medical information from the Internet and obtain information on doctors and clinics, scheduling must still be done in person or on the phone.
The new Web-based abortion service is only available for women paying with their own money — Britain’s national health service does not participate in the program. Consultations cost £50 and abortions range from £300-700.
While the program has received high praise from pro-choice advocates, pro-lifers in the UK are outraged.
Trustee of Life Nuala Scarisbrick told the British online publication
This is London, “What worries me is that it makes abortion seem so utterly trivial, when really it is a desperately serious business for the mother, the baby and everyone else involved.”
Likewise, John Smeaton, director of the
Society for the Protection of
the Unborn Child, told the publication, “The website shows the ease with which unborn babies can be killed in Britain — it’s easier than ordering food from Tesco” — a supermarket chain in Great Britain providing online grocery shopping.
Feminists for Life in America, based in Washington, D.C., criticized Saporta for her belief that the new service is “exciting.”
“This is about as exciting as scheduling a hysterectomy,” said Feminists President Serrin Foster. “Exciting is looking into the face of your newborn child for the first time.
“If they (pro-choice groups) only spent the time and energy necessary to address the root causes of abortion — lack of financial resources and emotional support — women would not have to lay their bodies down to sacrifice their children in order to complete their education or career goals.”