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Abortion

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many abortions took place in each year since 1978; (205994)

(2) how many requests for abortions were not approved by doctors in each year since 1978; and if he will make a statement.

The information is shown in the following table. Data are not held centrally on the number of requests for an abortion that are turned down.

Legal abortions: 1978 to 2006—England and Wales, residents and non-residents

Total

1978

141,558

1979

149,746

1980

160,903

1981

162,480

1982

163,045

1983

162,161

1984

169,993

1985

171,873

1986

172,286

1987

174,276

1988

183,798

1989

183,974

1990

186,912

1991

179,522

1992

172,069

1993

168,714

1994

166,876

1995

163,638

1996

177,495

1997

179,746

1998

187,402

1999

183,250

2000

185,375

2001

186,274

2002

185,385

2003

190,660

2004

194,498

2005

194,353

2006

201,173

Notes:

1. 2007 data will be published in June 2008.

2. 2008 data are still being collected and will be published in 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take in the next 12 months to provide patients seeking an abortion with access to the information they need to make an informed decision about their abortion, with particular reference to psychological problems associated with abortion; and if he will make a statement. (207181)

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in its evidence-based guideline ‘The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion’ (2004) states that professionals involved in abortion services should be equipped to provide women with the information they need, including accurate knowledge about possible complications and sequelae of abortion, in order to give genuinely informed consent.

We have commissioned the RCOG to review its guideline. In addition, we are working with the Royal College of Psychiatrists to discuss whether further work needs to be undertaken in this area.