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GPs against easier access to abortions – poll

11 February 2009

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More than half of GPs say that levels of abortions would increase if they were made available in polyclinics, with one in three saying they would refuse to work in a surgery that offered the service.

A total of 56% of the family doctors questioned in a survey for GP newspaper said that offering abortions in surgeries or polyclinics would lead to more women having the procedure.

Almost half (49%) also called for a cut in the current 24-week time limit for abortion, with 11% wanting it to be lowered to 15 weeks or under.

While 48% of the 480 doctors polled thought the 24-week limit should remain, just 3% believed it should be increased to 26 weeks or more.

Overall, 75% of GPs said they did not want to see the regulation that required two doctors to sign a form before an abortion could go ahead replaced with the need for only one signature.

And 61% of doctors said they did not believe that practices should be offering abortions at all after it was revealed that polyclinics and GP surgeries are gearing up to offer women easier access to abortions.

The procedure, known as early medical abortion, involves two trips to a clinic – hours or a day apart – to take pills which induce miscarriage.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Department of Health

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“Only if there are sufficient counselling services offering indepth advice and an explanation of all available options. There is a great risk that sugeries will not have the appropriate time or back-up to offer to women and their partners” – Name and address withheld

“No way! Moral and ethical values are at stake, despite so-called patient choice and rights. Leave it to those in the profession who are willing to provide the current service” – Name and address withheld