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Abortion

Health written question – answered on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) how many abortions on the grounds of rectifiable disabilities were performed after 24 weeks' gestation in each of the last five years for which figures are available;

(2) how many abortions there were at (a) 26 weeks and (b) each week after the 26th in each category of grounds for termination in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Information on the number of abortions that are 24 weeks and over by principal medical condition, if performed under section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act, has been placed in the Library. Abortions performed under this section are those where

‘there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped’.

Medical conditions recorded under section 1(1)(d) are coded using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (10th edition) published by the World Health Organisation. This classification does not split diseases and related health problems into those that are rectifiable and those that are not.

Information on the number of abortions at 26 weeks and each week after the 26th can be found in the following table for the periods 2003 to 2005 and 2006 to 2008. The figures for individual years are too small to be released. For the periods 2003 to 2005 and 2006 to 2008, the total abortions performed under grounds other than E, for abortions at 26 weeks and over, was less than 10 (between 0 and 9).

Number of abortions by gestations at 26 weeks and over, 2003-08
  Three year total
Gestation weeks 2003-05 2006-08
26 52 45
27 21 31
28 25 24
29 20 26
30 11 22
31 15 12
32 17 30
33 12 14
34 15 12
35 and over 19 25
Total 207 241

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