Abortion is legal in the UK for up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion clinics exist for women to be referred to in case either they choose to discontinue their pregnancy or because the pregnancy was an unplanned one. However, if there is a severe risk to a woman’s life, or there is an increased risk of foetal abnormalities, an abortion may be carried out after 24 weeks gestation. There are two types of surgical terminations. One is called a Suction aspiration, which can be used from to 7 to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The other is referred to as a Dilation and evacuation (D&E), which is used for preganancies over 15 weeks. The latter may require a general anaesthetic but, provided there are no complications, the patient may be able to go home the same day in both cases.
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