Report on FIAPAC’s 12th Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 13-15 October 2016

The 12th FIAPAC Conference held in Lisbon, Portugal last month attracted in excess of 600 delegates, and showcased 150+ oral and poster presentations covering a broad range of topics including drug regimens, surgical techniques, access to abortion, contraception after abortion, stigma to the Zika virus, pain management, more than one abortion, telemedicine, counselling and ethics. Sam Rowlands (BSACP Secretary and Council Member) has written a brief summary of the conference’s highlights for the benefit of those who were unable to attend this year’s conference.

The 2018 FIAPAC Conference will be held in Nantes, France – visit the FIAPAC website ( for further information/registration instructions.

New BSACP Council Members Elected

The BSACP is delighted to announce the election of four new Council Members:

Doctor Member:                      Jonathan Lord

Non-Clinician Member:         James Trussell

Nurse/Midwife Member:      Kate Shakeshaft

Trainee Member:                    Megan Griffiths

These appointments take effect immediately and are for an initial term of 3 years.

Positive Experiences by Irish Women using Online Abortion Service ‘Women on Web’ Reported in New Scientific Publication

Women who accessed at-home early medical abortion using the online abortion service Women on Web in Ireland and Northern Ireland reported positive outcomes for health, wellbeing, and autonomy, according to new research.

The study examined both the demographics and circumstances of 5,650 women requesting early medical abortion between 2010 and 2015, and the experiences of 1,023 women who completed abortion from January 2010 to December 2012. Women were diverse with respect to age, pregnancy circumstances, and reasons for seeking abortion. Results were peer-reviewed and published in the international journal, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG).

Study findings include:

  • Among women completing early medical at-home abortion, 97% felt they made the right choice and 98% would recommend it to others in a similar situation.
  • The only negative experiences commonly reported by women were the mental stress caused by pregnancies they did not want or felt they could not continue, and the stigma, fear, and isolation caused by current restrictive abortion laws.
  • The feelings women most commonly reported after completing abortion were ‘relieved’ (70%) and ‘satisfied’ (36%).
  • Women with financial hardship had twice the risk of lacking emotional support from family and friends.

“Women in Ireland and Northern Ireland accessing medical abortion through online telemedicine report overwhelmingly positive benefits for health, wellbeing, and autonomy,” Aiken said.  “This examination and subsequent findings provide a new evidence to inform the policy debate surrounding abortion laws in Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

The study was published online first at

For more information please contact the researcher: Abigail R.A. Aiken, MD, MPH, PhD Assistant Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs  email:

Recommencement of Specific Abortion Services at MSI Clinics (07.10.16 update)

In a press release published earlier today, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it is satisfied that Marie Stopes International (MSI) has responded to the serious patient safety concerns it raised with the provider, following inspections of its clinics, call-centre and corporate headquarters for England.

Since August 2016, CQC has been monitoring MSI closely and reviewing its progress. Having demonstrated to CQC that it has addressed the most serious areas of concern, including staff training in the key areas identified, from today (7 October 2016) MSI has begun to lift the restrictions it placed on its termination services, with the intention to resume full services across its clinics by the end of October 2016.

CQC is continuing to review MSI’s progress and it will not hesitate to take further action to protect patients, if necessary.

CQC aims to publish the full reports from its inspections later this year. Until then, the regulatory process prevents CQC from disclosing further details about its findings.

Suspension and Redirection of Specific Abortion Services at MSI Clinics (29.08.16 update)

Since our last posting, BSACP has been made aware that other services such as NUPAS were also approached by NHS England to increase capacity to undertake the care of women whose care was moved from Marie Stopes International (MSI) and that further services subsequently have also increased capacity.

As a healthcare professional, if you have any queries as to how the suspension of MSI services will affect your area you should contact your local Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response (EPRR) team.

NHS England has established a confidential helpline service for those with concerns and questions. This number is 0300 123 1041 (9.00am to 8.00pm on weekdays and 9.00am to 5.00pm at weekends). In Ireland the helpline number is 1800 882 677.

Suspension and Redirection of Specific Abortion Services at MSI Clinics

BSACP members will be aware that following recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections, Marie Stopes International (MSI) have suspended surgical abortions under conscious sedation and general anaesthesia, and any method of abortion for 18-year-olds and under and for other vulnerable women ( It is estimated that this will affect 250 women per week but that this figure may well increase.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) was asked by NHS England to increase its capacity to accommodate cancelled services which it has done, so no woman will be deprived of care. BSACP recommends that all service providers be aware that this may create extra demand for abortion services and that open dialogue with commissioners locally may be required.

NHS England has established a confidential helpline service for those with concerns and questions. This number is 0300 123 1041 (9.00am to 8.00pm on weekdays and 9.00am to 5.00pm at weekends). In Ireland the helpline number is 1800 882 677.

Members Invited to Vote in the BSACP Council Elections

The BSACP is seeking to appoint additional Council Members to fill four vacancies as follows:

  • One doctor
  • One nurse/midwife
  • One non-clinical individual
  • One trainee.

Applications for these vacancies have been received and BSACP members are invited to vote for their preferred candidates now. Members have been e-mailed the candidates’ statements in support of their applications and all votes need to be submitted to the BSACP Administrator at by the stated deadline.

***The deadline for receipt of votes has now passed. The election results will be announced shortly.***

Applications Sought for BSACP Council Vacancies

The BSACP is seeking to appoint additional Council Members to fill four vacancies on Council as follows:

  • One doctor
  • One nurse/midwife
  • One non-clinical individual
  • One trainee.

Current BSACP members have been e-mailed details about how to apply for these BSACP Council positions and will need to submit a completed application form to before the closing date of Friday 26 August 2016.

***The deadline for receipt of completed application forms has now passed.***


FIAPAC 12th Conference: ‘Improving Women’s Journeys Through Abortion’

FIAPAC (International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Associates) conferences are international meetings for all health care professionals whose work in reproductive health care focuses on abortion and family planning. FIAPAC’s 12th Conference will be held in Lisbon, Portugal from 13–15 October 2016.

Scientific programme and registration information at

FIAPAC Membership/Congress Secretariat. E: W:


Significant Increase in Abortion Requests in Latin America Related to Concern About Zika Virus Exposure

Fearing the effects of the Zika virus on their unborn children, a new study has found that pregnant women in Latin America increasingly are sourcing abortion pills from ‘Women on Web’, a non-profit organisation that provides medical abortion outside formal healthcare settings via online telemedicine, in countries where safe abortion is not universally available.

The research, published on Wednesday 22 June 2016 as a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to measure the response of pregnant women to Zika warnings in countries where abortion is limited or banned.


Aiken ARA, Gomperts R, Trussell J, et al. Requests for abortion in Latin America related to concern about Zika virus exposure. NEJM, 22 June 2016. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc1605389