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Abortion: Side Effects

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 133245, tabled on 30 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 November 2020 to Question 54271, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that advice given during consultation on abortion complications is accurate for the patient in circumstances where there is no in-person examination or ultrasound to determine gestational age.

Answered on

13 January 2021

Clinicians will discuss possible complications with the woman during the consultation and women will be provided with written advice and information about possible symptoms, including those which would necessitate urgent review. Women have access to a 24 hour telephone helpline should they have any concerns.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have issued clinical guidelines for healthcare professionals on ‘Coronavirus infection and abortion care’. The guidance sets out the circumstances where women should be asked to attend a clinic for an ultra-sound scan. However it states that “most women can determine the gestational age of their pregnancy with reasonable accuracy by last menstrual period (LMP) alone”. The RCOG guidance includes a decision aid for clinicians to use to help determine if an ultra-sound scan is required. This includes detailed questions to identify gestational age.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care