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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13020: Jeremy Balfour (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 29 November 2017

To ask the Scottish Government when it began consulting stakeholders regarding its decision to revise the licensing of misoprostol to allow it to be taken outside of a hospital or clinic, and in the absence of medical staff, for the purpose of carrying out an abortion; for what reason it did not carry out a public consultation on the decision, and what action it has taken to take account of public opinion on the matter.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 12 December 2017

The Scottish Government has used powers under the 1967 Abortion Act to class a patient’s home as a place where abortion treatment can be carried out in some circumstances, in order to enable women for whom it is clinically appropriate to take misoprostol at home.

The Scottish Government has no plans to consult on this decision.

As part of on-going work to support improvements to abortion services in Scotland, the Scottish Government regularly engages with NHS specialists in abortion care. This enables policy considerations to be informed by the expertise and experience of staff working directly with women accessing abortion services, thereby enabling the views of these women to be taken into account.