Abortion

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered am ar 20 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Jackson of Peterborough Lord Jackson of Peterborough Ceidwadwyr

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address complication rates identified in the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities statistics published 23 November 2023 (1) for women under 20 in home and clinical settings, and (2) for those who had abortions after more than ten weeks gestation in a clinical setting.

Photo of Lord Jackson of Peterborough Lord Jackson of Peterborough Ceidwadwyr

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure statistics on abortion complications are accurately collected and analysed to develop policies to improve women's health.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department’s comparison of statistics on abortion complications in England, using data from the Abortion Notification System, compared to data on hospital admissions for abortion complications from Hospital Episode Statistics for the years 2017 to 2021, found that women under 20 years old had the lowest complication rates of any age group.

Abortion continues to be a very safe procedure for which major complications are rare at all gestations. However, it is known that the risk of complications increases at higher gestations. The Department works closely with NHS England, the Care Quality Commission, and abortion providers to ensure that abortions are provided safely, in accordance with the legal framework set by the Abortion Act 1967.

It is a legal requirement under the 1967 Abortion Act that the Chief Medical Officer must be notified of all abortions within 14 days of the procedure. The Department provides the HSA4 abortion notification form for this purpose. HSA4 forms record known complications, up until the time of the patient’s discharge from the abortion service.

To consider the completeness of abortion complications data submitted via abortion notifications, the Department committed to publishing a one-time analysis comparing data from the Department’s Abortion Notification System and the Hospital Episode Statistics. This was published in November 2023. The Department is inviting views on abortion statistics for England and Wales, including the future publication of abortion complications data, via an online user engagement survey and via email. We welcome responses from abortion providers and all interested parties on this matter.

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