The 1967 Abortion Act allows an abortion to be legally performed under
certain conditions. Two doctors have to agree that the conditions are
met and the law requires that both the referring doctor and the gynaecologist
sign a form indicating the grounds for your case.
The five grounds are as follows:
- Your life is at greater risk if you continue with rather than terminate the pregnancy.
- Your physical or mental health is at greater risk if you continue with, rather than terminate, the pregnancy.
- The physical or mental health of any existing children of yours are at greater risk if you continue, rather than terminate, the pregnacy.
- There is a risk of grave permanent injury to your physical or mental health.
- There is a substantial risk that the child could suffer from serious physical or mental handicap.
Termination of pregnancy is legally possible only up to 24 weeks.
In the West of Scotland no-one terminates pregnancies beyond 16 weeks
unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is possible to arrange
a termination up to 24 weeks in the private sector, usually in England.
To obtain a termination at least one of the grounds must be met.