The Chief Medical Officer cleared a charity of illegally sending women to Spain to undergo late abortions on Wednesday but criticised the service for being too willing to give out information about the service
An investigation into the British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS), the country's largest abortion provider, followed allegations made in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that the charity was sending women to a Spanish clinic to abort a 26-week-old foetus when the legal limit in the country for an abortion is 24 weeks.
A report by Chief Medical Office Liam Donaldson concluded the charity had not broken the law, saying a woman was entitled to travel to another EU member state for an abortion.
But he criticised BPAS for giving out the number of the Spanish clinic too readily and not providing appropriate advice to women seeking a late abortion.
On Tuesday Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, defended the organisation, saying that reforms had already been put in place and pointing out that nothing BPAS had done was illegal. Only about 100 of the 250,000 calls they took each year were from women over the legal limit, she said.
"The real scandal of late abortions is that the services in Britain do not meet the needs of the small number of desperate women who require them," she said. Staff were continuing to pass on the number of the clinic to women who could not get the late abortion they wanted in the UK, Guardian unlimited reports.
The government had no plans to change the law on abortion, Reuters reports.