§ Lord Houghton of Sowerby
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are satisfied with the progress being made to reduce the number of late abortions, by the guidelines and disciplines outlined by the Minister of State for the DHSS in August 1985 at the conference of approved nursing homes under the Abortion Act 1967.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Security (Baroness Trumpington)
Yes. At the meeting in August 1985 between departmental officials and representatives of the eight nursing homes in England approved to carry out abortions after 20 weeks, a voluntary agreement was reached that abortions would not be performed after 24 weeks. Subsequently, in February 1986 this voluntary agreement became a condition of approval, and in May 1986, after consultation with medical bodies, guidelines on the estimation of gestational age were issued. On their inspection visits to nursing homes, departmental medical, nursing and investigative officers are carefully monitoring all cases over 20 weeks, and arrangements are working satisfactorily.