Abortion notifications and data: consultation analysis

Analysis of responses to a public consultation on the proposed changes to the requirements around statutory notifications of abortions in Scotland which must be sent to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).


2. All abortions (sometimes referred to as terminations of pregnancy) in Scotland must be notified to the CMO by the doctor who carried out the abortion – this is a requirement of the Abortion Act 1967.

3. The Abortion (Scotland) Regulations 1991 set out requirements which must be met in relation to notifications made to the CMO. At the moment, these notifications must be completed on a paper form (the 'yellow form') and sent by post or delivered in a sealed envelope to the CMO within seven days of the termination. The required information to be provided on the yellow form is set out in the Regulations and requires certain information to be provided about the abortion carried out. The CMO's office then deliver the notification forms to Public Health Scotland (PHS), which uses the information in the form to prepare the abortion statistics.

4. The consultation proposed that the Regulations should be amended to enable the notification of an abortion to be sent electronically in future and sought views on the timeframe within which notifications must be made. The consultation also proposed changes to the content of the notification itself. The proposals would mean that providers would in future only provide a simple notification confirming that an abortion had been carried out to the CMO and so would no longer need to submit the yellow notification forms. Further details of the abortion would be submitted directly to PHS via secure electronic means, to allow it to produce abortion statistics.


Email: AbortionConsultation@gov.scot

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