The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists produce guidance in a variety of different series. Here you will find the guidelines concerning abortion.

The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion
This guideline and a summary document can be downloaded as pdf files below.

file_pdf_small The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion – full guideline
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file_pdf_small The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion – summary document
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Content full guideline

Development of the guideline
Peer reviewers
1. Introduction and methodology

1.1 The guideline topic
1.2 Aim of the guideline
1.3 For whom is this guideline intended?
1.4 Local protocol development
1.5 Methods used in the development of this guideline
1.6 Implementation and review

2. Summary of recommendations

2.1 Organisation of services
2.2 Information for women
2.3 Pre-abortion management
2.4 Abortion procedures
2.5 Aftercare

3. Legal and ethical aspects of abortion

3.1 The Abortion Act
3.2 Good professional practice
3.3 Confidentiality
3.4 Professionals’ rights: conscientious objection to abortion
3.5 Issues relating to consent to treatment
3.6 Abuse of children and vulnerable people
3.7 Rights of the spouse or partner
3.8 Disposal of fetal tissue

4. Organisation of services

4.1 Access and referral to abortion services
4.2 Waiting times in abortion services
4.3 Settings for abortion care

5. Information for women
6. Pre-abortion management

6.1 The abortion decision
6.2 Blood tests
6.3 Cervical cytology
6.4 Ultrasound scanning
6.5 Prevention of infective complications
6.6 Feticide prior to late abortions

7. Abortion procedures

7.1 Surgical methods of abortion
7.2 Medical methods of abortion
7.3 Analgesia for abortion care
7.4 Histopathology

8. Aftercare

8.1 Rhesus prophylaxis
8.2 Post-abortion information and follow-up
8.3 Contraception following abortion

9. Standards for audit and service accreditation

9.1 Organisation of services
9.2 Information for women
9.3 Pre-abortion management
9.4 Abortion procedures
9.5 Aftercare

Appendix: Evidence tables

1 Relative safety of abortion at increasing gestations
2 Rate of uterine perforation during termination of pregnancy
3 Incidence of cervical injury during first-trimester abortion by vacuum aspiration
4 Incidence of cervical injury during second-trimester abortion by dilatation and
evacuation in illustrative large case series
5 Induced abortion and subsequent breast cancer risk
6 Future reproductive outcomes
7 Induced abortion and subsequent mental health
8 Studies relating to local versus general anaesthesia
9 Studies comparing manual with electric vacuum aspiration
10 Cervical priming randomised controlled trials
11 Cervical priming prior to surgical abortion
12 Combined early medical abortion regimens
13 Comparisons of regimens used in first-trimester abortions
14 Studies comparing various agents used in second-trimester medical abortions
15 Use of oxytocic agents to reduce blood loss at the time of surgical abortion