Abortion wait period to be scrapped in Jersey

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Woman with doctorImage source, Getty Images
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Women will no longer have to wait seven days for an abortion

Women seeking an abortion in Jersey will no longer need to wait a week for an appointment after requesting a termination.

The island's government has agreed to update the 1997 abortion law following calls from Deputy Louise Doublet.

She described the mandatory seven-day waiting period as an "unnecessary barrier to accessing safe and legal abortion care".

Abortions are not offered in Jersey after 12 weeks.

Deputy Doublet said the seven-day waiting period can push women across the 12-week threshold, forcing them to leave the island to seek treatment, increasing the risk of complications.

She said medical abortions are usually only available up to nine weeks of pregnancy, so waiting seven days could also mean an unnecessary surgical procedure.

Her report also said there is only one clinic on the island.

"Dependent on how busy the clinic is or if bank holidays occur, there might be a wait for the second medical appointment," said Deputy Doublet.

"A mandatory waiting period could result in women undergoing surgical procedures or having to travel off-Island unnecessarily.

"Approving this amendment would remove this requirement, in line with international medical best practice," she added.

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