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Government “considering offering abortions in GPs’ surgeries”

5 December 2007

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The Government is looking at plans which could eventually see abortions carried out in GPs’ surgeries, it has emerged.

The Department of Health (DH) said it is considering providing women with early-stage abortions using drugs in “nontraditional settings”.

Back in October, a report by an influential group said women should get easier access to terminations.

A DH spokeswoman said: “We have not taken any decision on whether to set up abortion services in GP practices or any other non-traditional settings.

“Two hospitals are currently being funded by the Department of Health to pilot early medical abortion services in nontraditional settings to evaluate effectiveness and safety.

“These current pilots have been running in hospital-based settings, not GP surgeries.

“We are formally evaluating the safety and effectiveness of providing early medical abortion services in nontraditional settings, which in future, could be a community medical setting such as a doctor’s surgery which has the appropriate medical expertise.

“The evaluation will be complete in the new year and we will consider the results carefully before reaching a decision.”

But Dr Fiona Cornish, a GP in Cambridge and vice president of the Medical Women’s Federation, told the magazine Pulse that even prochoice GPs do not want to take on medical abortions because of the time required.

“We’re already doing minor surgery, a lot of hospital follow-ups, coils, family planning clinics,” she added.

Department of Health

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