Court rejects plea for easier access to abortion pills

Judges in The Hague have rejected a court application to force the health ministry to make the abortion pill available to women who are unable to make the requisite visit to an clinic because of the corona crisis.

Women who want to terminate an early pregnancy are bound by law to visit an abortion clinic before they can be given the drugs. However, the current coronavirus restrictions are making this impossible for at least two women in the Netherlands who are self-isolating, pro-abortion organisation Women on Waves and women’s support agency Bureau Clara Wichmann said last week.

The organisations want the pill be made available outside of the clinics, for instance via general practitioners and telemedicine.

The organisations say the court ruling leaves the Netherlands behind compared to other countries, including the UK and Ireland and are now considering what steps to take next.

The court has yet to publish its formal reasoning for the ruling.

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