Abortion: Analgesics

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 6th July 2022.

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Photo of Scott Benton Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made a recent assessment of the implications for its policies of (a) the recommendation by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' in the 2010 working party report, Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice, that the fetus does not require analgesia for interventions occurring before 24 weeks of gestation and that evidence that analgesia confers any benefit on the fetus at any gestation is lacking and (b) research published by the British Medical Journal of Medical Ethics in 2020 on Reconsidering fetal pain, supporting the possibility of fetal pain before 24 weeks.

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

No specific assessment has been made as the Department does not set clinical practice.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is currently reviewing its report ‘Fetal Awareness: Review and Recommendations for Practice’. The College has established a review group to consider the latest evidence on fetal pain and fetal awareness which is expected to report on its findings by the end of 2022.

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