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Under 18 and considering abortion?

You may have lots of questions, such as ......

Do my parents need to know?

Although we won’t talk with your parents against your wishes, we will encourage you involve a parent or other trusted adult who can support you through the treatment process.  We don’t force young people to tell their parents or carers.  However women rarely attend our clinics on their own, and we cannot provide some treatments if you don’t bring an adult to take you home and stay with you afterwards. See below for more detail on who you could bring with you to the clinic.

Can anyone under 18 consent to their own treatment?

Our staff will make sure that you are fully aware of what is involved with abortion treatment.  If you are sure that you want an abortion, and you understand the procedure and the possible risks and complications of treatment, you can agree to the treatment yourself.   

Will anyone be told of the abortion?

Doctors, nurses and health workers cannot share your information without your permission, unless they think you or another person is in serious danger (this applies to everyone, at all ages).  In these exceptional cases they would try to discuss it with your first.  More information about your health records.

Do I have to tell the father?

If you choose to have an abortion you don’t need the father’s agreement - however some partners want to share in the decision and can be supportive.  It is up to you whether to involve him, but he has no legal right to be informed or consulted.

Who should I bring with me?

A female adult of your choice can stay with you throughout your treatment and you need an adult (aged 18 or over) to take you home afterwards. It's not possible for a male to accompany you as closely as a female support person, because we need to protect the privacy of our other clients too.

Whoever accompanies you will need to be patient while we carry out all the checks and medical tests needed to ensure that your treatment is legal, suitable and safe. You will see lots of different BPAS healthcare and other staff while you are with us and you can re-join your partner, friend or relative between each stage of this process.

You can have a BPAS support person with you throughout treatment, and we will keep your own support person up to date with your progress if you prefer. More information on who to bring with you.

Easy SRE podcast

Abortion: Information and advice for young people

In this podcast Julia Goldsmith, from Catcher Media, talks to Kayleigh Hills, Safeguarding Matron from BPAS, to discuss young people’s choices in relation to pregnancy, with medically and legally accurate, impartial information on all options, including abortion.

The programme explores what most girls would would be thinking. Listen here or below.