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Abortion

There are many reasons why you might decide to have an abortion - for example, because of your personal circumstances, because your health may be at risk, or there is a high probability that the baby will have a serious health problems.

In the UK it is legal to have an abortion up to 24 weeks of the pregnancy. There are also a few situations when an abortion may be carried out later

Who to tell

If you are pregnant and considering an abortion, there is help and support available to you. It is up to you who you tell, but it can be a great help to have the support of someone close to you.

You don't have to have the permission of your partner, although many people do come to a joint decision about having an abortion. The father of an unborn baby has no legal rights.

If you are under 16 you can have an abortion without telling your parents, although you will be encouraged to tell them, or another supportive adult. The health professional will need to know that you fully understand what is involved.

Arranging an abortion on the NHS

If you want to have an abortion paid for by the NHS, you can talk about your choices with your GP or your local contraception and sexual health clinic.

Depending where you live you may be able to self-refer for an NHS-funded abortion by calling the BPAS Actionline 08457 30 40 30. BPAS appointments are easy to arrange and completely confidential. Your privacy will be respected at all times and your GP will not be contacted without your permission www.bpas.org

Private abortions

You can contact a private abortion service and organise your appointments directly with them. You would pay for the abortion yourself, further information can be found at www.bpas.org Tel 08457 30 40 30 or www.mariestopes.org.uk Tel 0845 300 8090

Abortion procedures - what to expect

In most cases, an abortion is carried out as a day procedure, and an overnight stay in the clinic or hospital is not required. There are a number of different methods of abortion. Visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Abortion/Pages/Introduction.aspx for more information.