“Whilst women are confident in their decision to have an abortion, others are unsure and have many questions.” explains renowned Dr Alex Eskander, Consultant Gynaecologist at The Gynae Centre. If you are not 100% – and even if your mind is set – the best thing you can do is to arm yourself with all the information as early as possible to give yourself time to consider everything. Below we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about abortion rights, pregnancy termination treatments and options.
What are my rights on abortion?
The Abortion Act 1967 means that any person (which includes women, trans men, and non-binary people) in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) carrying a baby has the right to an abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy. The week of pregnancy is worked out from the first day of your last menstrual cycle and/or with an ultrasound scan in instances where periods are irregular.
How late can you have an abortion?
Abortions will also be granted after 24 weeks but only in circumstances where there is a considerable risk to the mother’s life or if there is evidence of a fatal fetal abnormality where the baby will either not survive, or will be born with a severe disability.
Is my abortion confidential? Do I have to give my personal details?
Any medical service or treatment, including abortion will be 100% confidential and nobody will be told about your abortion without your explicit agreement – that includes your partner and family members. Personal information is required in order to proceed with the abortion as the doctor or consultant will need to fill in one of two certificates (HSA1 or HSA2) as required by law. Which form is filled out will depend on whether it’s a routine or emergency termination. You will be asked the reason for the termination, which is also required by law. A second doctor will need to review and sign the form before any procedure can be carried out. The form will be kept at the clinic in patient records for three years from the date of termination, as is required by the Abortion Act.
A HSA4 form will also be filled out by the consultant performing the procedure and is sent to The Chief Medical Officer.
What if my partner doesn’t want an abortion? Partners’ rights on abortion.
Your partner has no legal rights when it comes to abortion. A partner’s consent is not legally required for someone to have an abortion. It is solely the pregnant person’s decision to go ahead. Abortions can go ahead without a partner’s knowledge or consent – all treatment is entirely confidential and discrete. However it is always a good idea to discuss this important decision with both of you before you reach a decision.
Abortion waiting times: NHS and private.
The waiting time for abortions can vary greatly. On the NHS generally it should take around five working days from the date of your referral to get an appintment at an abortion clinic, then the procedure should be carried out wihtin five working days from the decision to go ahead, says The Family Planning Association (FPA). However, in reality this can be longer and depends on your area and waiting lists.
With a private clinic you can often get an initial appointment much sooner than five days – at The Gynae Centre we sometimes even have same day appointments available. The consultation and treatment can be arranged for the same day but this should always be discussed on the phone when you call the clinic to book. If you’d like to talk to our non-judgemental team about this, call use on 020 7580 8090.
Is abortion safe? What are the risks of abortion?
Abortions should only be carried out by a licensed clinic. You can find out if your chosen clinic is approved to carry out pregnancy terminations by referring the Department of Health & Social Care list of independent clinics and hospitals approved to carry out abortions. The Gynae Centre has been approved and our certificate can be seen here on our website.
Pregnancy termination is a very safe procedure, but generally speaking, the earlier a pregnancy is terminated the safer and simpler it is. Most women won’t experience any issues but the later the pregnancy is terminated, the greater the chance of complications. As with all medical prodedures, there are risks of complications like incomplete abortion, infections, unrecognised ectopic pregnancy and haemorrhage. You should also consider the side effects associated with anaesthesia if undergoing a surgical abortion.
Is abortion painful?
People report vary varied experiences and an abortion will feel different for everyone depending on how many weeks pregnant you are, the type of procedure and your pain tolerance but generally the pain is managed with ibuprofen or Diclofenac and antibiotics. The experience is often compared to strong period cramps. Surgical abortions are carried out using local or general sedation – if you are concerned about the pain you can opt for general sedation so you fall into a light sleep during the procedure.
What are my abortion options?
At The Gynae Centre we offer three different pregnancy termination options which will be led by on how many weeks pregnant you are and your own preferences:
Can be carried out 1 day after missed period or as soon as pregnancy test shows positive.
Abortion with pill can be carried out between 6 and 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Can be carried out between 6 and 13 weeks of pregnancy under either local or sedation.
Find out more about the above pregnancy termination options by clicking on the links.
To book in for a pregnancy termination at The Gynae Centre, a prestigious private abortion clinic in London, where you’ll experience caring, non-judgemental and understanding nurses and consultants, call us now on 020 7580 8090.