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How can a woman get an abortion?

There are a number of ways to get an abortion on the NHS:

  • Self-referral by calling 0300 456 2217
  • Referral by patient’s own GP
  • Referral by a medical professional at a local family planning clinic
  • Referral by a medical professional at a youth advisory clinic

It is important to act quickly as your treatment options will depend on how many weeks pregnant you are. The legal limit for abortion is 24 weeks.

Medical Abortion

This method is only available if you are less than 9 weeks pregnant and involves oral medication and tablets put in the vagina. These drugs prepare the body for miscarriage and stimulate the womb (uterus) to expel the pregnancy.

Surgical Abortion

You are given either a local or general anaesthetic and a gentle suction is used to remove the pregnancy. No cutting is involved.

To arrange a privately funded abortion, please see our Useful Organisations section.

Under 16s

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