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What is a legal abortion?

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Abortion First things first Abortion means ending a pregnancy so that it does not result in the birth of a child. If a woman thinks she is pregnant but hasn't had a pregnancy test done, she needs to do so as soon as possible. What is a legal abortion? In England, Wales and Scotland abortion is legal under 24 weeks of pregnancy if two doctors agree that it is necessary for one of the following reasons: * having the baby would harm the woman's mental or physical health more than having the abortion. This involves the woman explaining how she feels about the pregnancy to a doctor. * having the baby would harm the mental or physical health of any children she already has. An abortion is also legal at any time in pregnancy if two doctors agree that: * the abortion is necessary to save the woman's life or prevent serious permanent harm to her mental or physical health, or * there is a high risk that the baby would be seriously handicapped. ...read more.


There is an average of 2-4 weeks waiting time on the NHS, so it is easier if a woman is under 8 weeks pregnant. Women can refer themselves for a private abortion. Early abortions start from around �350 and go up to �750 or above in the later stages. For more information on private abortions, visit our useful organisations section. Once referred for an NHS or private abortion, the woman will need to attend a consultation at the clinic. Her medical history will be taken and a nurse or doctor will discuss what will happen. Under 16s A young woman under 16 can have an abortion but special rules apply about consent. Brook Centres are used to seeing young people under 16 and can provide confidential help. How are abortions carried out? There are two main early abortion methods: * Medical abortion (known as 'the abortion pill') Medical abortion can be performed in the first 9 weeks of pregnancy. ...read more.


Healthy women take only an hour or so to recover and most go home the same day. Methods used for later abortions will depend on the stage of pregnancy. The exact procedure will be explained by a doctor or nurse before the abortion goes ahead. Having an abortion shoul d not affect a woman's ability to have a child in the future. After an abortion The woman will experience some bleeding for a few days after the abortion and may have pain like "period pains". Advice will be given on how to reduce the risk of infection. If bleeding or pain is severe, or she has a raised temperature or unusual vaginal discharge, she should see a doctor as soon as possible as this could mean that she has an infection which needs treatment. The woman will need to see a doctor about one to six weeks after the abortion to make sure all is well. It is possible to become pregnant again as soon as 7 days after an abortion. So the woman needs to think about future contraception. ...read more.

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