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At-home abortion pills service is available.

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Who we are

We're the leading independent provider of sexual and reproductive health services in the UK.

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Abortion and your rights

Understanding the UK laws on abortion, and your rights.

There are safe and legal options for ending a pregnancy.

In England, Scotland and Wales, you can legally have an abortion at up to 23 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, in line with the Abortion Act 1967.

If you live in Northern Ireland, or anywhere else where abortion care may be restricted, you can legally travel to receive treatment. We provide safe abortion treatment through our clinics across England. Contact us if you’d like more information or to book an appointment.

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Abortion law in the UK

In England, Scotland, and Wales, the Abortion Act 1967 made abortion legal as long as specific criteria are met. It is possible to have an abortion up to 23 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy (gestation). There is no gestational limit for abortions if there’s evidence of a fatal fetal abnormality or a significant risk to your life if you continue with the pregnancy.

In Northern Ireland, abortion was decriminalised in 2019, and the new legal framework came into effect in 2020. Abortion is now unconditionally legal up to 12 weeks in Northern Ireland. After 12 weeks, the law is essentially the same as the rest of the UK.

If you come to us for an abortion, we’ll ask for your reasons for wanting one, which we’re required to do by law. Two doctors need to make sure the requirements of the Abortion Act are met, and sign the relevant certificate. We will arrange this for you.

Abortion legal requirements 

The Abortion Act 1967 made abortion legal as long as specific criteria are met.This is why during your assessment we have a legal duty to ask why you are considering an abortion.

In order to comply with the law, we’ll ask for your reasons for wanting an abortion. Your answers will not have any effect on the care you receive.

Two doctors need to make sure the requirements of the Abortion Act are met, and sign the relevant certificate. We will arrange this for you.

Abortion Law Criteria

The Abortion Act 1967 states that an abortion is legal if it is performed by a registered medical practitioner (a doctor), and that it is authorised by two doctors, acting in good faith, on one (or more) of the following grounds (with each needing to agree that at least one and the same ground is met):

  • (a) that the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family; or
  • (b) that the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; or
  • (c) that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated; or
  • (d) that 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.

How will the rollback of US abortion rights impact abortion in the UK?

On 24th June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion in America. While this decision will not impact abortion law in the UK, it will no doubt embolden anti-choice activists.

Read our latest blog for more information about the impact of the news from the US, abortion rights in the UK, how to access abortion care with MSI Reproductive Choices UK, and what you can do to support reproductive rights globally.

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Travelling from abroad

Deciding to have an abortion can be one of the most difficult decisions you can make, even more so if you travel to another country to receive your treatment. We are here to support you.

For clients traveling from overseas, we know you will have travelled some way to get to your appointment. You will want to return home as soon as you can, but we strongly advise you to stay overnight locally with friends or family if possible.

There is an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT – blood clots in the legs) from a period of sitting still (such as being on a long journey by car or plane) after surgery, and during pregnancy. For this reason we advise against travelling a long way on the same day of treatment.

By contacting us ahead of travelling we can answer any questions you might have on treatment options, prices, travel, how long you should stay in England, and if you should be accompanied on your trip. We can also arrange for you to have counselling over the phone. Call us any time to speak to an advisor - lines are open 24-hours a day.

Read about travelling from Ireland
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If you need a translator

If English is not your first language, and you have a family member, friend or colleague who can speak English they can call us on your behalf.

At time of booking we can then arrange to have interpreters who can speak with you by phone, or help you during your consultation at the clinic.

If you are calling on behalf of someone else, we may ask you for:

  • Your name
  • Your relationship to the person that you're calling on behalf of

You can see the information provided on our website in other languages via the Google translate feature in the top left-hand corner of this website.

MSI UK nurse and a woman wearing masks in abortion clinic

Your right to confidentiality

If you call us for advice, you don’t have to tell us who you are, and we won’t call you back unless you want us to.

We will not disclose information to your GP or contact them without your permission, other than when needed for emergency medical care or safeguarding concerns. All clinical professionals are bound by the code of confidentiality and data protection laws.

 

Our commitment to protect your privacy

All abortion care providers send some information to the Department of Health. The information is sent on a form called a HSA4 form. This form is part of the legal abortion care regulations in the UK. We send the forms to the governments Chief Medical Officer, and they use this information in their abortion care statistics. The information that we send does not include names, but it does include other information such as:

  • Client reference number 
  • Date of birth
  • Postcode
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital status
  • Treatment details

For more details about the information we collect and hold about you, how we look after it and who we might share it with, click on the buttons below. 

Take a look at our Privacy Notice page

Looking for more information about abortion services?

You’ll find answers to the questions people ask most about abortions here. If you can’t find out the information you need, please call us on 0345 300 8090.

Making the right choice for you

Before deciding whether to go ahead with an abortion, it can help to be as informed as possible. We’ve collated some information about abortion we hope you’ll find useful here.

MSI UK nurse talking to a woman about abortion options

What to expect

We want you to feel as comfortable as possible when coming for an abortion, so our team will be there to support you at every stage.

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A guide to costs

More than 95% of our clients have their abortion funded by the NHS. You can pay to have one privately if you prefer or if you’re not eligible for NHS funding.

MSI UK clients talking inside abortion clinic

Advice for partners

If you’re a partner, friend or family member of someone having an abortion, here’s some advice on how you can support them.

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