Doctor signature requirement 'not delaying abortions'

The requirement for two doctors' signatures is not delaying abortions, according to the government.

Data for 2006 show that 68 per cent of abortions take place at less than 10 weeks and 89 per cent at less than 13 weeks, according to the government’s response to the Commons’ Science and Technology Committee’s report on abortion published last month.

The Committee recommended that the requirement be removed.

The government response added that : ‘Two hospitals are currently being funded by the DoH to run early medical abortion services in non-traditional settings to evaluate the effectivesness and safety of provision in these settings.’

The evaluation will be complete in 2008, when a decision on abortions in GP surgeries will be taken.

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