Policy briefing

New RCN position statement on termination of pregnancy

College responds after members support call for decriminalisation
nurse completing paperwork

College responds after members support call for decriminalisation

Essential information

More than 200,000 terminations were carried out in England, Wales and Scotland in 2016. Nine out of ten (92%) were at under 13 weeks’ gestation.

Abortions may be carried out using medication or a surgical procedure.

The criteria required for termination to be carried out in England, Scotland and Wales are set out in the Abortion Act 1967. In Northern Ireland, terminations are illegal except in very limited circumstances.

What’s new

The RCN has issued a new position statement that says terminations should be decriminalised and treated just like any other medical procedure.

The college acted after decriminalisation was backed by three quarters (74%) of almost 3,000 RCN members who responded to a survey last year.


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