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'Means tests' for abortions

Women seeking abortions are being regularly subjected to means tests without their knowledge, according to a report published yesterday. Moral judgements rather than health need are also being used as the criteria for deciding whether a woman can have an NHS abortion, it is claimed.

The report from the Abortion Law Reform Association, based on a survey of health authorities, said arbitrary restrictions were being used to limit the number of abortions funded by the NHS. In some cases the ethical beliefs of health authority members and staff, hospital doctors and GPs decided whether a woman could have an abortion.