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Termination of Pregnancy (Abortion)

What is a termination?

A termination (often called an abortion) is a way to end an unwanted pregnancy. More than one in four women in England and Wales will have a termination in their lifetime. It is available in every part of the country, and women from all communities, faith groups, ethnicities and ages can access termination of pregnancy services.

Termination (Abortion) Procedure:

For more information on all procedures, please visit the BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) here.  

Your rights

Doctors, nurses and other health workers have a duty NOT to give out information about you without your consent, whatever your age, except in exceptional circumstances.

You have the right to talk to a doctor or nurse in complete confidence about issues concerning your health and welfare. The only reason why a medical professional can share information you have given them with another professional is if sharing information is necessary in order to protect a child or adult from harm or abuse. Even in this situation you should be informed of who else needs to know and why.

Confidentiality for Under 16s

The same rules apply on confidentiality for under 16s. Unless disclosure is necessary to protect a child or young person from harm or abuse, any discussion with a medical professional should remain confidential.

Even if a doctor decides that a young person is not mature enough to make a decision about their treatment, the conversation should remain confidential. 

If the doctor considers that young women does not have sufficient understanding to give her own consent, the doctor cannot perform a termination on the young women unless they also gain consent from her parents or her guardian.

Is it Legal?

It is legal to terminate a pregnancy if doctors agree that it would be better for your health and wellbeing to end the pregnancy than to continue it. Although it can be carried out until 24 weeks into pregnancy, 90% of all terminations take place in the first 12 weeks. The earlier in pregnancy the termination takes place, the safer it is for the woman. Early in pregnancy the woman may be given a choice of method, and is likely to have the procedure locally.

How to make a decision about abortion?

It is important that you make the right decision so think about who you want to talk to and who can give you the information and support you need. There are several services that you can talk through your decisions with, such as your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse, Sexual Health & Contraceptive Service, Young People’s Service e.g. Brook or Share and the Pregnancy Advisory Service. 

Some things to think about in making your choice…

Your life now. What is most important to you in your life at the moment? This might involve many things, such as family, friends, work and education.Your future. What are your hopes and aims for the future? You can think about all aspects of your life.

Whatever you decide it needs to be right for you.

Will I be able to get pregnant again?

Most women are completely fertile within a few days of abortion, so you should start to use your chosen method of contraception as soon as the abortion has taken place. Many contraceptive methods are available at the Contraceptive and Sexual Health Service or as a young person the Brook Service.

Useful phone numbers and further information

- Royal Cornwall Hospital direct line (Truro/Penzance) 01872 252983 www.rcht.nhs.uk

- Ramsey Healthcare (Bodmin) 0800 9170022 www.bodmintreatmentcentre.co.uk

- The Sexual Health Hub, Genitourinary Medicine and Contraception Service 01872 255044

- Brook, sexual health service for young people 01209 710088 www.brook.org.uk

- Share Young Peoples Service Cornwall 0800 181033

- Education for Choice – supporting young peoples right to informed choice about abortion www.efc.org.uk

- British Pregnancy Advisory Service 08457 304030 www.bpas.org/bpaswoman

- Family Planning Association 0845 122 8690 www.fpa.org.uk