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Family Planning

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 214476, tabled on 30 January 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the review entitled, Reproductive control by others: means, perpetrators and effects published in the BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in January 2019, if his Department will commission a review of reproductive coercion.

Answered on

6 February 2019

Data on the number of abortions declined as a result of a suspicion of coercion is not collected centrally.

The Department has no current plans to commission a review of reproductive coercion.

The Department takes this issue very seriously. The Department’s required standard operating procedures (RSOPs) for independent sector abortion providers and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists clinical guideline on the Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion, specify that careful and sensitive enquiry as to the reasons for requesting an abortion should be made, with the opportunity for further discussion, especially where women express any doubts or there may be a suggestion of pressure or coercion. The Care Quality Commission inspects independent sector abortion providers against all of the Department’s RSOPs including looking at the procedures and policies services have in place to ensure that all women and young persons are seeking abortion voluntarily.