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Does NHS cover abortion?

The National Health Service (NHS) covers a range of medical and health services, but there might be stuff that are not eligible for funding. If you are wondering does the NHS cover abortion, read on so we can explain the situations and conditions that must be fulfilled so that this medical procedure will be eligible for funding.

Abortion facts

Abortion is the process of ending or terminating a pregnancy. It should not be confused with a miscarriage as this usually ends naturally. No medical intervention is necessary compared to performing an abortion.

Reasons why an abortion is performed:

A woman might undergo an abortion for several reasons, as follow:

  • health risks

A pregnancy may be ended if there are health risks for the mother.

  • presence of abnormalities

The baby can also have a serious physical or genetic abnormality such that ending a pregnancy is recommended.

When a pregnancy be terminated

Legally, an abortion can only be done during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Its legal basis is the Abortion Act 1967 covering England, Scotland and Wales except Northern Ireland. There are provisions as to how abortion can be performed.

  • Every woman who wants to get an abortion must do so in a hospital or a licensed clinic.
  • At least two doctors should agree that abortion is the best recourse as continuing with the pregnancy will damage the physical and mental wellbeing of the woman.

Does NHS cover abortion?

You will need a referral from a specialist service if you want to have an abortion through the NHS. As mentioned above, all conditions of the Abortion Act must be fulfilled including certifcation from two doctors who will both agree that an abortion is necessary.

How much is covered by the NHS

Does the NHS cover abortion? Yes it does. NHS funding for abortion services can be more than 90% or less than 60%. NHS funding for abortion services vary in different parts of the country. If you wish to have a private abortion, the NHS will not pay for this. Again, the agreement of two doctors is still required.

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