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How late can you have an abortion in the UK?

Abortion  •  10 April 2023  • 5 min read

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

In this blog, you will find information about:

  • Abortion services in the UK
  • Abortion law in the UK
  • UK abortion statistics

If you are pregnant and considering an abortionyou are not alone. Nearly 1 in 3 pregnancies end in an abortion worldwideWe provide free, confidential counselling services as part of abortion care, should you wish to speak with someone about your decision. Our counselling team is available any time you need to talk before, during and after your treatment to offer caring, non-judgemental advice. Call us on 03453008090 to arrange a counselling appointment.  

If you choose to have an abortion, the method that’s right for you will depend on your gestation (how many weeks pregnant you are), your medical examination, medical history, and your personal choice.

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).  Abortion is available after the usual time limit if there’s evidence of severe foetal anomaly 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.

You can read more about UK abortion law here: Abortion and your rights

If you are looking for abortion services

At MSI Reproductive Choices in the UK, we offer medical (and telemedicine) and surgical abortions across our clinics in England.

medical abortion, also known as “Abortion with pills”  uses medication to end a pregnancy. The treatment involves taking two types of medicine at two different times. It is the safest treatment option up to 9 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy for most people. We also offer at-home abortion services (telemedicine) up to 9 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy. This means that if you meet safety criteria to allow for a medical abortion without a scan, you can take both sets of pills at home, without needing to attend a clinic. The abortion medication can either be collected by you from one of our clinics or posted to your home address after your consultation.  

We offer surgical abortion up to 23 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy. A surgical abortion is a safe and simple procedure carried out by specialist doctors in a clinic, and involves the pregnancy being removed through your vagina, either by using suction (vacuum aspiration) or specialised instruments (dilation and evacuation). The type of surgical abortion procedure we offer you will depend on how many weeks you have been pregnant and your medical history.

The vast majority of abortion treatments in the UK are medical.

Official 2021 abortion statistics show that 89% of abortions were carried out under 10 weeks, increasing from 88% in 2020.

A medical abortion may not be the best option for you, or you may be over 9 weeks and 6 days gestation, in which case, the option of a surgical abortion is available.

How to get an appointment for an abortion?

98% of abortions in the UK are funded by the NHS, and you can have a consultation appointment for NHS-funded abortion care within 48 hours with MSI UK.

It is important to know that you do not need a GP referral to access abortion care. You can access NHS-funded abortion care by getting in touch with an abortion provider like MSI Reproductive Choices to book a consultation. Reminder: Access to our clinics is appointment-only. Please make sure you call us to book your appointment before attending our clinics.

When contacting an abortion provider, we will provide a safe, non-judgemental space where you can ask questions and make a booking.

Please remember that you have the right to change your mind at any time, you have made a booking or had your consultation. Abortion providers will support you whether your decision is to continue or end a pregnancy.

Get in touch

At MSI Reproductive Choices, we are here for you and there are a number of ways you can contact us.    

You can always get in touch should you have any questions about our services, would like to book an appointment or you have had treatment with us and want aftercare support.  


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