HC Deb 31 July 1997 vol 299 c421W
Ms Julie Morgan

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had with the chairmen of the Welsh health authorities concerning recent changes in the provision of family planning services; if he will list recent changes in family planning service provision notified to him; and what guidance he has issued to health authorities on the commissioning of such services. [11927]

Mr. Win Griffiths

I have had no consultation with chairmen of health authorities regarding family planning services. Government policy is that people should be free to choose their source of contraceptive advice and that health authorities' family planning services complement rather than duplicate those services provided by GPs. Guidance which reminded health authorities of their responsibilities was issued to the service in Wales in 1990 and reinforced in 1993 by the "Protocol for Investment in Health Gain: Healthy Living".

Copies of both documents have been placed in the Library of the House.

Ms Morgan

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the relationship between changes in the level of provision of family planning services and the number of abortions carried out in Wales. [11928]

Mr. Griffiths

The following figures show the general downward trend of abortions in Wales. The increase in the first quarter of 1996 might be attributable to the reaction to publicity about oral contraceptives and thrombosis in October 1995.

Abortions performed to women resident in Wales

  • 1988: 7,379
  • 1989: 7,366
  • 1990: 7,440
  • 1991: 7,187
  • 1992: 6,856
  • 1993: 6,924
  • 1994: 6,775
  • 1995: 6,442
  • 1996: 7,279

Abortions performed in Wales
1995 1996 Percentage increase from 1995 figure
January—March 1,073 1,226 14
April—June 1,061 1,097 3
July—September 1,115 1,033 -7
October—December 1,107 1,031 -7