§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give the percentage for the latest year available for the number of certificates concerning abortions lodged late with his Department in breach of the regulations governing the Abortion Act 1967; and if he will give the percentage of these cases in which his Department: took action, broken down by the form of action taken.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
In 1989, 54 per cent. of the notification forms (HSA4) sent to the chief medical officer for abortions performed in England and Wales were received more than seven days after the date of termination. The great majority of notifications are received within 28 days. Follow up action was taken by letter in respect of 150 notifications (0.15 per cent.) where no reasonable explanation for the delay was received. We shall continue to remind doctors about the time limit and the penalty for failure to comply with it.