Four health trusts in England could soon be granted permission to carry out early abortions in GP surgeries, data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveals.
Two clinic have already been given permission and have started offering the service, the GP newspaper reported, while four trusts are waiting for the all clear to begin.
In addition to these trusts, another 11 are considering applying for a licence. The early abortions involve two trips to a clinic to take pills which bring on a miscarriage.
A survey asked 114 primary care trusts about their abortion provision and the figures were analysed alongside data from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) charity, which runs some of the clinics.
Previous research had suggested that six PCTs were considering or had applied for licences to provide early abortions.
BPAS has services in GP practices in Wolverhampton and Newcastle under contracts with primary care trusts (PCTs), and has applied to run a service in Basingstoke.
Each year, the charity provides around 13,000 early medical abortions under nine weeks’ gestation.
Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, said the “abortion pill” method is safe and effective.
She said: “It makes perfect sense for the abortion pill to be available from GP, health centres and family planning clinics where doctors have the time and knowledge to counsel women properly and provide 24/7 advice and support for their patients.
“It must be borne in mind though, that the abortion pill is not ‘abortion lite’.”
Copyright © Press Association 2010
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