Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977

  • This version was reprinted on 26 February 2016 to make corrections to section 2 under section 25(1)(j)(ii) of the Legislation Act 2012.
32 Procedure where woman seeks abortion

(1)

Every medical practitioner (in this section referred to as the woman’s own doctor) who is consulted by or in respect of a female who wishes to have an abortion shall, if requested to do so by or on behalf of that female, arrange for the case to be considered and dealt with in accordance with the succeeding provisions of this section and of section 33.

(2)

If, after considering the case, the woman’s own doctor considers that it may be one to which any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (1), or (as the case may require) subsection (3), of section 187A of the Crimes Act 1961 applies, he shall comply with whichever of the following provisions is applicable, namely:

(a)

where he does not propose to perform the abortion himself, he shall refer the case to another medical practitioner (in this section referred to as the operating surgeon) who may be willing to perform an abortion (in the event of it being authorised in accordance with this Act); or

(b)

where he proposes to perform the abortion himself (in the event of it being authorised in accordance with this Act), he shall—

(i)

if he is himself a certifying consultant, refer the case to one other certifying consultant (who shall be a practising obstetrician or gynaecologist if the woman’s own doctor is not) with a request that he, together with the woman’s own doctor, determine, in accordance with section 33, whether or not to authorise the performance of an abortion; or

(ii)

if he is not himself a certifying consultant, refer the case to 2 certifying consultants (of whom at least 1 shall be a practising obstetrician or gynaecologist) with a request that they determine, in accordance with section 33, whether or not to authorise the performance of an abortion.

(3)

Where an operating surgeon to whom a case is referred under subsection (2)(a) is satisfied, after considering the case, that it is one to which any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (1), or (as the case may require) subsection (3), of section 187A of the Crimes Act 1961 applies, he shall, if he is willing to perform the abortion, either—

(a)

if he is himself a certifying consultant, refer the case to 1 other certifying consultant (who shall be a practising obstetrician or gynaecologist if the operating surgeon is not, and who shall not be the woman’s own doctor) with a request that he, together with the operating surgeon, determine, in accordance with section 33, whether or not to authorise an abortion; or

(b)

if he is not himself a certifying consultant, refer the case to 2 certifying consultants (of whom at least 1 shall be a practising obstetrician or gynaecologist, and of whom 1 may be the woman’s own doctor) with a request that they determine, in accordance with section 33, whether or not to authorise the performance of an abortion.

(4)

Where any medical practitioner is required to refer any case to any other practitioner under this section, he shall refer it in accordance with the procedure for the time being prescribed by the Supervisory Committee.

(5)

As soon as practicable after a case is referred to him, each certifying consultant shall consider the case and shall, if requested to do so by the patient, interview her; and at any such interview she shall be entitled to be accompanied by her own doctor (if he agrees).

(6)

The woman’s own doctor and the proposed operating surgeon shall be entitled (with the patient’s consent) to make such representations and to adduce such medical or other reports concerning the case as he thinks fit to each certifying consultant.

(7)

Every certifying consultant may, in considering any case, with the consent of the patient, consult with any other person (whether or not a medical practitioner) as he thinks fit in order to assist him in his consideration of the case, but he shall not disclose the patient’s identity without her consent.

(8)

Notwithstanding anything in this section, or in section 33, no certifying consultant shall be obliged to determine any case without first interviewing and examining the patient.

Section 32: substituted, on 10 July 1978, by section 2(1) of the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Amendment Act 1978 (1978 No 5).

Section 32(1): amended, on 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48).

Section 32(2)(a): amended, on 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48).

Section 32(4): amended, on 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48).

Section 32(7): amended, on 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48).