This guideline covers care for women of any age (including girls and young women under 18) who request an abortion. It aims to improve the organisation of services and make them easier for women to access. Detailed recommendations on conducting abortions at different gestational stages are also included, to ensure that women get the safest and most effective care possible.
For information on related topics, see our women's and reproductive health summary page.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- making it easier to access services
- reducing waiting times
- workforce and training
- choice of procedure
- expulsion at home for medical abortion up to and including 10+0 weeks
- cervical priming before surgical abortion
- improving access to contraception after an abortion
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Commissioners and providers
- Those responsible for training curriculums
- Women requesting an induced abortion
Is this guideline up to date?
October 2022: We have checked the recommendations on medical abortion under 10 weeks and will not update them because they are in line with the updated Abortion Act 1967. For more information, see the surveillance decision.
Guideline development process
NICE worked with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to develop this guidance.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.