Unplanned pregnancy is very common. Around half of all pregnancies are unplanned, and in one in five pregnancies a woman will choose to have an abortion.
It can be a difficult choice to make and can be an emotional time. Talking to people you trust and making sure you have accurate information and support can help.
If you're undecided about what to do, see Pregnant and don’t know what to do? for information about your options, including continuing with the pregnancy, choosing adoption, and abortion.
This information is about abortion. It gives you information about getting an abortion and what's involved. It tells you about the different types of abortion and what effects they may have.
Is abortion legal?
Yes. In Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) the law (Abortion Act 1967, as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990) allows a woman to have an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, if two doctors agree that it is less likely to cause harm to her physical or mental health than continuing with the pregnancy.
More than 90 per cent of abortions are carried out before 13 weeks of pregnancy.
More than 98 per cent are carried out before 20 weeks.
The weeks of pregnancy are usually worked out from the first day of your last normal menstrual period. If you have irregular periods, or no periods, or the stage of pregnancy is not clear, this can be checked with an ultrasound scan.
An abortion can be done after 24 weeks if there are exceptional circumstances, for example if there is a serious risk to the woman’s health or there is a substantial risk of physical or mental disability if the baby is born.
The 1967 Abortion Act does not extend to Northern Ireland. Abortion is legal in Northern Ireland in very exceptional circumstances. It is only lawful where there is a real and serious risk to the woman’s mental or physical health and the risk is permanent or long-term. Consequently, most women from Northern Ireland have to travel to England to obtain a private abortion. They are not entitled to an abortion on the NHS.Read Full Article