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Early stage abortion figures released

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Nearly 400 abortions under nine weeks were undertaken in GP surgeries in the first year they were allowed to be carried out, figures have shown.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) runs clinics for early medical abortions (EMAs) at surgeries in Wolverhampton and Newcastle. The Care Quality Commission is currently considering a further application to host a service at a practice in Basingstoke.

The Department of Health allows BPAS to run its services out of surgeries after the practice was first introduced just over a year ago.

The charity acts as an independent provider performing abortions for NHS patients under a contract with the local PCT.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, said: “Women’s take up of BPAS’ early medical abortion service provided within a local GP surgery has been encouraging.

“Women tell us they really appreciate being able to access services close to home.

“It’s important to remember that providing this early abortion service is not simply a question of offering women medication, but requires a whole framework of round-the-clock expert support and care.

“With that in mind, we agree that it remains to be seen how many GPs will wish to provide this service, should that become an option for them in future.”

EMA involves two trips to a clinic, hours or a day apart, to take pills which induce miscarriage.

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