The Care Quality Commission in Britain has found 14 abortion clinics on the National Health Service breaking rules and also found "irregularities" at some clinics.
According to the Care Quality Commission, the 14 clinics were found breaking rules by allowing doctors to pre-sign forms authorising abortions, which does not comply to The Abortion Act 1967. The Abortion Act 1967 requires a form (HSA1) certifying that the requirements for a termination have been met to be signed by two doctors before the procedure takes place. The practice in the 14 abortion clinics meant that in reality only one doctor was making the decision.
The Care Quality Commission was instructed by the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to investigate the practice of pre-signed HSA1 forms. The inspections were unannounced and took place in March 2012.
The inspections follow private investigations by The Telegraph in February 2012, which also showed doctors to pre-sign HSA1 forms. The Telegraph’s investigation also found abortion clinics were flouting the law by allowing women to terminate their pregnancies on the basis of the unborn child’s gender.
The 14 abortion clinics found to be in breach of the law are now complying with the Abortion Act, the Care Quality Commission says. All have now taken steps including internal audits and staff training to ensure continued compliance.