Abortion drugs trial success

SUCCESSFUL medical trials at St Mary s have given women the choice to have early-stage abortions in GP clinics and family planning centres

SUCCESSFUL medical trials at St Mary's have given women the choice to have early-stage abortions in GP clinics and family planning centres.

The results of a pilot set up to test drugs used for inducing early abortions was hailed as a success by the Department of Health last week.

St Mary's in Paddington and Chalfont and Gerrads Cross Hospital were chosen by the government as the main testing sites.

Kate Paterson, the consultant gynaecologist who led the trial at St Mary's, said that the success was a cautious step and there would be no radical moves in the immediate future.

"The trials have shown that abortions can be provided safely outside a hospital," she said. "But these methods are not likely to be implemented very quickly because most GPs don't want to provide an abortion service. So these types of abortions are more likely to be carried out in family planning clinics."

Dr Paterson stressed that women who opt for the abortion drugs will still receive the same advice and support prior to the procedure and afterwards.

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"The only difference is the method - they are taking medication instead of having surgery," she said.