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Rules over doctor access for abortions “should be changed”

31 October 2007

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The current rules requiring two doctors to sign forms before a woman can have an abortion should be removed to reduce delays in the procedure, an influential group of MPs has said.

The Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, which has been investigating issues around terminations, also found no scientific justification for lowering the current 24-week legal limit.

Its report also claims there is no reason why women should not be able to take the second stage of an early medical abortion in their own home.

The news comes after a poll by campaign group Abortion Rights, which was reported in, found 52% of people believe the law should be changed so that women no longer have to see two doctors in order to have a termination.

Committee chairman Phil Willis said: “Abortion is a complex issue. Legislative decisions are informed by ethical, moral, religious and political views, case law, scientific and medical evidence.

“As a Science and Technology Committee, we have focused on the science, and have done so rigorously.

“In our inquiry we have attempted to sift the evidence on scientific and medical developments since the last amendment of the law in 1990 and since the 1967 Act.

“We urge all MPs and the public to study the evidence we have taken and the conclusions we have reached.”

Science and Technology Committee

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