Abortions (Hansard, 5 November 1987)
HC Deb 05 November 1987 vol 121 cc853-5W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list, for the most recent years for which figures are available, the different conditions, syndromes and diseases diagnosed in foetuses aborted under statutory ground 4 at 18 weeks gestation and over, together with the numbers of each condition and in each case the numbers expressed as a percentage of all abortions at 18 weeks and over.

Mr. Newton

The information requested is shown in the table.

Mentions of medical conditions for notifications of abortions carried out under statutory ground 4 of the 1967 Abortion Act to residents and non-residents at 18 weeks and over gestation, England and Wales 1986: numbers and percentage of all operations performed at 18 weeks and over
ICD number and condition Medical conditions1 (mentions) Percentage of all abortions 18 weeks and over
655 Known or suspected fetal abnormality affecting management of mother 635 7.67
655.0 Central nervous system malformation in fetus 297 3.59
655.1 Chromosomal abormality in fetus 175 2.11
655.2 Hereditary disease in family possibly affecting fetus 19 0.23
655.3 Suspected damage to fetus from viral disease in the mother 9 0.11
Rubella (056) 7 0.08
Rubella contact (VO1 4) 1 0.01
Rubella immunisation (VO 4.3)

Number of notifications of legal abortions performed on residents and non-residents at gestation weeks: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and over, by statutory grounds, age-group of mother and category of premises 1986
Gestation weeks
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 + over
Statutory grounds
All grounds 2,611 1,553 1,389 753 876 880 185 29
1 (with other) 4 3 3 1 2 2 1
2 (alone) 2,306 1,338 1,187 657 788 829 158 7
3 (with or without 2) 144 79 43 27 30 16 3
4 (alone) 131 125 138 60 52 28 20 19
5 (with any other except 1) 26 8 18 6 4 5 3 3
5 or 6 2
Age group
All ages 2,611 1,553 1,389 753 876 880 185 29
Under 15 27 15 15 12 18 24 2
15 81 46 50 28 29 38 8
16–19 802 454 416 214 243 291 47 5

ICD number and condition Medical conditions1 (mentions) Percentage of all abortions 18 weeks and over
655.5 Suspected damage to fetus from drugs 8 0.10
655.6 Suspected damage to fetus from radiation 3 0.04
655.8 Other known or suspected fetal abnormality, not elsewhere classified 96 1.16
655.4 Suspected damage to fetus from other disease in the mother and
655.9 Unspecified fetal abnormality 28 0.34
1 These figures represent the number of medical conditions reported (mentioned) rather than the number of operations.

Ms. Richardson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action the Government have taken to ensure the effective implementation of the recommendations for reducing the number of late abortions put forward by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in their study; "Late Abortions in England and Wales 1984".

Mr. Newton

The Department has discussed the findings of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists report with regional general managers and regional medical officers, and health authorities have been encouraged to improve their administrative referral systems. Earlier this year family planning and pregnancy counselling projects were set up with central funding in City and Hackney, Milton Keynes and South Sefton district health authorities. These will continue until March 1989. They are being independently evaluated by Isobel Allen of the Policy Studies Institute and we expect to disseminate her findings to the National Health Service when they have been studied.

Ms. Richardson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many abortions were performed on residents and non-residents during 1986 at each of the following gestational ages; 18 weeks, 19 weeks, 20 weeks, 21 weeks, 22 weeks, 23 weeks, 24 weeks and 25 weeks and over, respectively; on what grounds these were performed; what were the ages of the women; and what was the number performed in the National Health Service and the number performed in approved places.

Mr. Newton

The information is shown in the table.

Gestation weeks
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25-over
20–24 877 519 453 238 296 276 72 11
25–29 414 245 212 113 140 114 22 10
30–34 226 124 101 74 68 63 18 2
35–39 126 105 81 46 55 47 9
40–44 47 38 52 24 22 24 7 1
45 + over 11 7 9 4 5 3
Unknown
Category of premises
NHS 452 219 267 84 75 37 23 22
Non-NHS 2,159 1,334 1,122 669 801 843 162 7

Mr. Frank Field

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will break down the number of abortions by the social class of the mother for the latest available date.

Mr. Newton

Information on occupation status, from which social class data are compiled, is not collected on the abortion notification form.

GLOBAL ISLES COURT OF RECORD