Why this week has been a week of pioneering change for women's health
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In the wake of the #MeToo campaign, the Irish vote to repeal the eighth amendment and the lifted ban on Saudi female drivers, women’s issues appear high on the global agenda of change in 2018. This August we have seen no different with further liberation of women’s choice and heightened awareness surrounding particular health issues faced by women and young girls. Indeed, the chief shifts this week have centered on abortion, period poverty and menopause becoming ever-fading taboos owing to increased focus on such topics in both government and mainstream media. Here is a round-up of three recent key shifts in the female health sphere and how such changes may impact female experience in the future. Abortion pill reforms This week, England has followed in the footsteps of Scotland and Wales by allowing women undergoing pregnancy terminations to self-administer their second abortion pill at home. The reform, due to be enacted by the end of this year, was instigated primarily because of many reports by women experiencing miscarriage symptoms whilst travelling home from abortion clinics. Currently, women seeking abortion within their first 10 weeks of gestation are required to take two pills in the abortion clinic, administered 24-48 hours apart. However, the new legislation will see women being given the choice to take their second pill either at the clinic, as is current procedure, or at home, avoiding the chance of miscarrying during travelling. Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said the legal shift will guarantee women are provided “safe and dignified care” throughout the “difficult experience”. The motion has been supported by leading medics including Professor Lesley Regan, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who said the move was “a major step forward for women’s healthcare”. It is also supported by numerous activist groups including the Women’s Equality Party and Humanists UK. Free sanitary products in Scotland The Scottish government has become the first in the world to establish a scheme providing free sanitary products in universities, schools and colleges.
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