§ Dr. Tonge
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he received the recent surveys carried out by Voice for Choice on abortion services; and what steps are being taken to ensure that the criteria for obtaining an NHS abortion are standardised throughout England and Wales;
(2) if he will ensure that health authorities set up a central telephone helpline and booking system for use by women, doctors and other health professionals in line with the Family Planning Association's recommendations following their recent survey on abortion. 
§ Yvette Cooper
[holding answer 9 December 1999]: Officials received a copy of the surveys on 6 December.
It is for local health commissioners to determine the appropriate level of gynaecological provision, including abortion services, in the light of the needs of their local populations. The national sexual health strategy which is currently being developed will look at all aspects of sexual health including access to services.
In addition the White Paper "The new NHS" outlines a number of steps which we will be taking to improve the consistency of service provision throughout the NHS. Health improvement programmes (HImPs) are being drawn up by health authorities in consultation with NHS trusts, primary care groups, primary care professionals, local authorities, the public and other partner organisations such as voluntary organisations. The HImP sets out the strategic direction on improving health and on delivering better health and social care as well as setting out the framework for action on commissioning services.
§ Yvette Cooper
[holding answer 9 December 1999]: There are no plans to extend the Abortion Act 1967, as amended, to Northern Ireland.