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BRITISH PREGNANCY ADVISORY SERVICE v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HEALTH

For the purposes of the Abortion Act 1967 s.1 a pregnancy was not "terminated by a registered medical practitioner" where the registered medical practitioner prescribed an abortifacient drug with the intention of terminating a pregnancy and the administration of that drug to the pregnant woman was a treatment for the termination of pregnancy.

21 February 2011

The claimant (B), sought a declaration as to the meaning of the Abortion Act 1967 s.1. Section 1 of the Act provided that any treatment for the termination of pregnancy, whether surgical or medical, had to be carried out in a hospital vested in the defendant secretary of state, or an NHS body, or in a place approved for the purpose by the secretary of state. The secretary of state was responsible for approving independent sector service providers for the purpose of treatment for the termination of pregnancy. B was such a service provider. The primary medical treatment for the termination of a pregnancy was effected through a woman visiting a hospital or clinic for consultation and counselling, if required, and an examination to ensure that she was legally eligible and clinically suitable for abortion. If she was sure of her decision to have an abortion then, after consultation and when two doctors had signed a statutory certificate, an oral dose of abortifacient drug was taken. That...

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