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Abortion

How can a woman get an abortion?

To get an abortion on the NHS, the woman can self-refer or be referred by a healthcare professional i.e. a GP or contraceptive and sexual health nurse/doctor. You can self-refer by calling 0300 456 2217.

If a doctor has a moral objection to abortion, s/he does not have to be involved. However, s/he should explain this to their patient and make arrangements for her to see another doctor or self-refer.

It is important to act quickly. The earlier a woman decides to have an abortion, the easier it is to get a free abortion on the NHS. Although the normal legal limit for abortion is 24 weeks, it is usually easiest to get an abortion on the NHS if a woman is under 12 weeks pregnant. There is an average of 2-4 weeks waiting time on the NHS, so it is easier if a woman is under 8 weeks pregnant.

Women can refer themselves for a private abortion. Early abortions start from around £350 and go up to £750 or above in the later stages. For more information on private abortions, visit our useful organisations section.

Once referred for an NHS or private abortion, the woman will need to attend a consultation at the clinic. Her medical history will be taken and a nurse or doctor will discuss what will happen.

Under 16s

A young woman under 16 can have an abortion but special rules apply about consent.