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Volume 977: debated on Wednesday 30 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received in the last six months from professional medical and nursing organisations, from other bodies, and from individuals, concerning the abortion law; and which of the professionel organisations were in favour of maintaining the existing law substantially unchanged.

Professional medical and nursing bodies in Scotland were consulted in August 1979 about the provisions of the Abortion (Amendment) Bill which seeks to amend the existing law on abortion and the following bodies responded:

Scottish Joint Consultants Committee.
British Medical Association (Scottish Council).
Scottish General Medical Services Committee.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Scottish Executive Committee).
Royal College of General Practitioners (Scottish Council).
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (Scottish Division).
Scottish Committee for Hospital Medical Services.
Scottish Hospital Junior Staff Committee.
Central Midwives Board for Scotland.
Royal College of Midwives (Scottish Board).
Scottish Health Visitors Assocation.
In addition, the Secretary of State has received 24 letters from other bodies or informal groups and 43 from individuals.Most of the medical and nursing bodies referred to were opposed to those provisions of the Bill which sought to introduce an upper time-limit for abortions of 20 weeks and to revise the general criteria for abortion. The Royal College of Midwives supported the idea of a 20-week upper limit, and six bodies expressed support for a time limit of 24 weeks.