§ Mr. Amess
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish in theOfficial Report a breakdown of the reasons for abortions performed under ground two of the Abortion Act 1967 for 1987 and 1988.
§ Mr. Freeman
[holding answer 23 June 1989]: The information is shown in the table.321W
Abortions performed under ground 21 (alone) of the 1967 Abortion Act: numbers by principal medical condition, England and Wales 1987–88 ICD2and Condition Number 1987 1988 All legal abortions 154,627 163,624 With mention of a medical condition 144,687 154,542 Without mention of a medical condition 9,940 9,082 638 Failed attempted abortion 1 — 640 Haemorrhage in early pregnancy — 1 641 Antepartum Haemorrhage, abruption placentae and placenta praevie — — 642 Hypertension complicating pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium 49 98 643 Excessive vomiting in pregnancy 16 28 646 Other complications in pregnancy, not elsewhere classified 15 17 647 Infective and parasitic conditions in the mother classified elsewhere 11 8 648 Mental disorders 144,046 153,907 Neurotic disorder 100,688 105,769 Depressive disorder not elsewhere classified 43,036 47,789 Other 322 349 654 Abnormality of organs and soft tissue of pelvis 41 25 655 Known or suspected foetal abnormality affecting management of mother 116 64 656 Other foetal and placental problems affecting management of mother 4 2 1 The continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated. 2 International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code, 9th revision.
§ Mr. Freeman
[holding answer 23 June 1989]: The table shows the number of abortions performed in England and Wales during 1984–88 where no medical reason for the operation was given on the notification form. This does not mean, however, that these notification forms were incomplete; on a number of occasions, notifications are received where, quite properly, no existing medical condition has been recorded.
Such notifications refer to situations where there is an implied future risk to the mother were the pregnancy to continue, rather than to an existing medical condition. The Abortion Act 1967 allows an abortion to be performed if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion formed in good faith thatthe continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.Most of the cases without mention of medical condition are terminations performed under this ground.
There are also a small number which are accounted for by those notified on the grounds that 322Wthe continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk or injury to the physical or mental health of any existing child(ren) in the family of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated(Ground 3 of the 1967 Abortion Act).
Legal abortions performed without mention of medical condition, England and Wales, 1984–88 Year Total 1984 12,533 1985 12,815 1986 13,166 1987 13,645 1988 12,177