HC Deb 28 April 1966 vol 727 cc938-9
28. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps, by legislation or otherwise, to prevent the sale of abortifacient drugs.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

It would not be practicable to prohibit the sale of many of the stubstances taken in the belief that they will terminate pregnancy since they are in common use for other purposes. I am, however, keeping this matter under review and will be ready to consider the introduction of new restrictions on any particular drug shown to be harmful.

Mrs. Short

Is my right hon. Friend aware that as a result of the Birmingham Report by the Abortion Law Reform Association of that area, 14,000 pharmacists in this country have been advised not to sell these drugs, which are expensive, ineffective for the purpose and positively dangerous? Does he not think that their manufacture should be banned and does he not agree that the only way to solve this problem is to reform the law, as has been suggested; that this is the only way to get rid of the manufacture and sale of these dangerous drugs?

Mr. Jenkins

Without commenting further on my hon. Friend's reversion to her previous Question, I will, on the other point she raised, discuss the matter with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health. As I indicated in my Answer, I am not at all opposed to the banning of a particular drug where it is shown to be a specific cause of danger and difficulty.