AN ANTI-ABORTION group has lost its legal challenge against a Scottish Government decision to allow women to take abortion pills at home.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) had argued that the decision by ministers to enable women to self-administer misoprostol is unlawful and a threat to their health.

It returned to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to appeal in April after it lost its legal challenge against the move last year.

However in a ruling published yesterday three Court of Session judges refused the appeal by SPUC.

Following the Scottish Government’s decision, women in Scotland can now take the drug misoprostol at home, provided they have first taken the drug mifepristone in a clinic 24 to 48 hours beforehand.

During the hearing in April Morag Ross QC, representing the SPUC, said the decision to allow abortions at home is flawed in “two fundamental respects” because it approved treatment outwith the presence of a registered medical practitioner (RMP) and because a pregnant woman’s home is not a “meaningful class of place”.

The case was heard by Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, Lord Menzies and Lord Brodie.

In their ruling the judges said that an RMP remains responsible whether the treatment is administered in a clinic or at home.

They said: “We do not accept that the doctor’s control or supervision over the treatment differs in any material way between the situation of taking the tablet within the clinic and then leaving; and that of delaying the taking of the tablet to allow the woman to travel home. Both result in the termination of the pregnancy taking place outside of the clinic.

“In each case the RMP can properly be described as taking responsibility for the treatment of the termination of the pregnancy and control in the appropriate sense is maintained.”