Abortion: Domestic Abuse

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd February 2022.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to help ensure provision of safe abortion access for women living with abusive partners; and if he will take make an assessment of the potential effect methods of accessing an abortion from a regulated provider on women who live in the same household as their abusers.

Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

All abortion providers must comply with legal requirements and have regard to any statutory guidance relating to children, young people and vulnerable adults. Providers must ensure that all staff are trained in recognising the signs of potential abuse in adult women and how to respond. They must also have written guidance that staff are aware of, can easily refer to and access to a named lead in the organisation for guidance and advice. In addition, it is a requirement that clinicians caring for women requesting abortion should be able to identify those who require more support than can be provided in the routine abortion service setting, including those who are subject to sexual violence or where there is evidence of coercion.

We are considering all evidence submitted to the Government’s consultation on ‘Home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks gestation’. The consultation asked questions relating to the impact on the provision of abortion services for women accessing these services with particular regard to safety. We will publish our response as soon as possible before the end of March, to give providers sufficient notice of the outcome.

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