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To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take to ensure that abortion clinics (i) report cases of suspected sexual abuse and exploitation, (ii) flag cases of underage girls being brought to their clinic for an abortion by the same unrelated adult and (iii) ensure that consent is properly obtained from minors; and if he will make a statement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of abortion clinics licenced by his Department on ensuring that those clinics (a) report cases of suspected sexual abuse and exploitation, (b) flag cases of underage girls being brought to their clinic for abortion by the same unrelated adult, (c) ensure that consent is provided in writing by minors; and if he will make a statement.
All abortion providers must comply with legal requirements and have regard to any statutory guidance relating to safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All providers must have policies and protocols in place for dealing with these groups. Health professionals are required to be competent in child protection and are expected to participate in regular training to update their skills. All clinical staff working in abortion services should be trained to at least level 3 of the intercollegiate framework, Safeguarding Children and Young people: roles and competences for health care staff. Providers should have protocols in place for obtaining consent and pathways and support for all women who lack capacity to consent. Officials meet regularly with abortion service providers and discuss a range of issues.