HC Deb 22 July 1980 vol 989 cc652-3W
Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the guidelines issued last February to health authorities on what nurses could do in abortion operations; and if he is satisfied that such guidelines conformed with the law.

Dr. Vaughan

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Neale) on 20 June—[Vol. 986, c.690–91.] The guidance contained in a letter issued in February by the chief medical and chief nursing officers of the Department about the role which a nurse or midwife may undertake in termination of pregnancy by medical induction procedures was based on the advice of my right hon. and learned Friends the Law Officers of the Crown. There have been proceedings in the High Court to determine the legality of the guidance. Judgment is expected to be given shortly.