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Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 133062, tabled on 30 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the information provided to women undergoing consultation for late-term abortions; and whether women undergoing those consultations are informed that a child could live at 22 weeks outside the womb and feel pain.

Answered on

13 January 2021

The Department does not set clinical practice. To support clinical practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guidelines on The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion and Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice, which is available at the following links:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/abortion-guideline_web_1.pdf

https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/rcogfetalawarenesswpr0610.pdf

The RCOG have identified the Report ‘Fetal Awareness: Review and Recommendations for Practice’ should be reviewed, following the recent publication of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Guidance on best practice abortion care.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care