Abortion The law has always protected the rights of unborn children and it is still a criminal offence to procure an abortion. Both the mother and anyone helping her can be prosecuted.
However, abortions are now legal if carried out by a doctor and for one of the following reasons: That the continuance of the pregnancy would be a greater risk to the mother’s life or to her physical or mental health than would its termination. a That the continuance of the pregnancy would involve a greater risk to the mother’s other children than if it were terminated. 3 That there is a substantial risk of the child suffering from mental or physical abnormalities which would handicap it seriously. Except in cases of genuine emergency, it is necessary for two doctors to certify that one of these conditions is fulfilled and for the abortion to be performed in an approved hospital or clinic.
If the mother is married, the consent of her husband is not required. Likewise, if she is i6 or over, her parents’ consent is not needed. If a girl is under 16, her parents have to be consulted but even if they (or the girl herself) are against the abortion, it will then be legal if the doctors consider it necessary for the mother’s health.