Women’s & Children’s Health,
Private Bag 471,
Dear Ms Waite
Thank you for your letter of 14 January 2014. You advised that “ counselling and consent are always given prior to the procedure. However as we place the women at the centre of our care there may be occasions that the timing of the dose is less than 24 hours.”
We are aware that there is nothing in the legislation governing the performance of abortion or in the “Standards of Care for Women Requesting Induced Abortion” that stipulates that a waiting period is recommended before the woman takes the Mifepristone drug. We are aware that in the United States that there are 26 States that require a waiting period after counselling of at least 24 hours before the abortion may proceed, one of these States has a waiting period of 72 hours. The purpose of this is to provide the woman some time to reflect on her decision.
I would be grateful if you would kindly clarify the situation for me, in the event that a woman has given informed consent for a medical abortion and had counselling:
Is it the practice to ask the woman if she would return the next day or on a future date, or is she offered the Mifepristone to take immediately?
- In the event that the woman is from out of town and asks if she may commence immediately by taking Mifepristone, are her wishes granted?
- Are there circumstances where a woman may be given the prostaglandin, Misoprostol, to take home for self medication?