Skip to main content

Abortion Act 1967 and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

Volume 717: debated on Monday 8 February 2010

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the (a) reference numbers, and (b) titles of the (1) statutory instruments, (2) departmental circulars, and (3) other documents distributed since 1990 by the Department of Health direct to (i) primary care trusts, and (ii) strategic health authorities, about the Abortion Act 1967 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of each document; what action was required in respect of each; and what documents in those categories the Secretary of State for Health plans to circulate in the next 12 months. [HL1685]

Since 2002, when primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) came into existence, PCTs and SHAs have been given access to the following statutory instruments, letters and documents about the provisions of the Abortion Act 1967. These set out the Government's policy, recommended good practice and refer to the legal position on abortion in relation to services:

Abortion Act 1967

Statutory instruments (SI):

S.I. 2002/ 887 The Abortion (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2002, a copy of which has already been placed in the Library.

Departmental circulars:

Letter from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) about changes to the abortion notification form (2002), a copy of which has been placed in the Library; and

Letter from the CMO following the publication of his report An Investigation into the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (SPAS) Response to Requests for Late Abortions (2005), a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Other documents:

The National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV Implementation Action Plan (2002), a copy of which has been placed in the Library;

Conscious Sedation in Termination of Pregnancy: Report of the Department of Health Expert Group (2002), a copy of which has been placed in the Library;

Effective Commissioning of Sexual Health and HIV Services, A Sexual Health and HIV Commissioning Toolkit for Primary Care Trusts and Local Authorities (2003), a copy of which has already been placed in the Library;

Government Response to the Health Select Committee's Third Report of Session 2002-03 on Sexual Health (2003), a copy of which has been placed in the Library;

An Investigation into the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) Response to Requests for Late Abortions, A report by the Chief Medical Officer (2005), a copy of which has been placed in the Library;

Government Response to the Report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on the Scientific Developments Relating to the Abortion Act 1967 (2007), a copy of which has been placed in the Library;

Evaluation of Early Medical Abortion (EMA) Pilot Sites (2008), a copy of which has been placed in the Library;

Moving forward: Progress and prioritiesworking together for high-quality sexual health (2009), a copy of which has been placed in the Library;

Equality Impact Assessment for National Sexual Health Policy (2010), a copy of which has been placed in the Library; and

Mandated Specification for Termination of Pregnancy Services (part of Guidance on the Standard NHS Contract for Acute Services and Community Services 2010/11) (2010), a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Documents funded by the Department of Health:

The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) (2004), a copy of which has already been placed in the Library; and

Recommended Standards for Sexual Health Services, Medical Foundation for Aids and Sexual Health (2005), a copy of which has already been placed in the Library.

We will be issuing the sexual health commissioning framework in due course, which will include good practice guidance on commissioning contraception and abortion services.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

SIs implementing the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, or departmental circulars and other documents specifically about the 1990 Act, have not been distributed directly to PCTs or SHAs and none are expected to be distributed within the next 12 months.

The national regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), ensures that establishments licensed under the 1990 Act, in both the NHS and the independent sector, are aware of the legislative requirements and provides guidance on compliance and good practice.