‘Do not report illegal abortions to the police’, British Doctors told

Medics should not report women believed to have illegally ended their pregnancy, under new guidance issued by a leading health body in Britain.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists issued the guidance following ‘the increasing number of police investigations’, into women who have late stage abortions.

Under the current rules NHS staff can breach patient confidentiality and inform police if it is in the ‘public interest’.

In its new guidance the RCOG said healthcare professionals should not call the police to report a suspected illegal abortion without the patient’s consent.

The guidance tells medical professionals that it is “never in the public interest to investigate a patient who is suspected of ending their own pregnancy”.

It adds: “Do not call the police or external agencies if a woman divulges, or you are suspicious, that she may have sought to end her own pregnancy unless she has given explicit consent to do so, or you consider it justified in her best interests.”