Abortion/termination of pregnancy in England and Wales

The Abortion Act 1967 permits termination of a pregnancy by a registered medical practitioner subject to certain conditions. This webpage provides links to further information about abortion published on the Department of Health website, and other related sites. For ease, the links are arranged in three main areas: Legislation relating to the Abortion Act; Information for Clinicians; Completion of abortion forms and statistics.

Information for women seeking an abortion can be found on the NHS Choices website


This document giving an overview on the Department’s role in monitoring the Abortion Act and producing statistics:

Background to abortion notifications in England and Wales (PDF, 25K)

In order to monitor the Abortion Act and produce statistics, the information is processed and checked. Details of the checks that are carried out can be found in the attached document.

Gateway reference: 16434

Department of Health checks made on HSA4 forms for data quality and monitoring the Abortion Act (PDF,61K)

The HSA4 form contains highly sensitive personal data. Confidentiality is of utmost importance. More information on confidentiality will be available shortly. (Published in May 2011 the document is still current)

Contact details

If you have questions about abortion statistics or wish to submit HSA4 forms on line either use the email addresses below or telephone 020 7972 5537.  Both email addresses are checked regularly.

A named contact is not given to avoid the risks to Department of Health statistical staff engendered by the emotive nature of the subject matter.

Legislative information

The Abortion Act 1967, as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, governs abortions in England and Wales. legal requirements apply to the certification and notification of abortion procedures. Within the terms of the Abortion Act, only a registered practitioner can terminate a pregnancy. The notification form must be completed by the doctor taking responsibility for the procedure. Follow the links below to relevant statutory requirements.

Forms HSA1, HSA2 and HSA4 are available from the DH Publications Orderline, Tel: 0300 123 1002. Follow the links below to see forms and guidance notes.

Introduction to completing abortion forms for abortions performed in England and Wales (PDF, 34K)

HSA1 form (PDF, 91K)

HSA1 from (DOC, 48K)

HSA2 form (PDF,24K)

Guidance note for completing the HSA1 and HSA2 abortion forms – revised May 2012 (PDF, 38K)

HSA4 form (PDF,1242K)

Guidance note for completing HSA4 paper forms – revised May 2012 (PDF, 56K)

Summary guidance note for completing HSA4 electronic forms – revised May 2012 (PDF, 37K)

Detailed guidance note for completing HSA4 electronic forms – revised May 2012 (PDF, 96K)

Statistics and research

The following links give information on how the data is coded and held electronically on the abortion statistics database. There are links to the DH statistical publications as well as other abortion and conception data publications.

The Abortion statistics for England and Wales from 2002 to present day


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