This article advises on the legal position on the supply/administration of abortifacients under PGDs.


A requirement of the Abortion Act 1967 is that a pregnancy may only be terminated by a registered medical practitioner.

The medical practitioner is not required to personally perform all of the actions needed but must personally take full responsibility for all aspects of the procedure, including prescribing.

This means that abortifacients e.g. mifepristone (Mifegyne®) can only be prescribed by a doctor or supplied and/or administered following a Patient Specific Direction (PSD) for a named individual from a doctor. PGDs are not permissible for abortifacients as this route removes the personal oversight of the procedure from the medical practitioner.

SPS position statement December 2022

SPS are not able to answer questions on the use of PGDs in termination services as they relate primarily to the Abortion legislation which requires clarification by the DHSC.

Update history

  1. URL updated
  1. Position statement from BPAS removed
  1. Updated wording on SPS position statement
  1. Addition of BPAS and SPS position statements
  1. Title revised and summary added.
  1. Published

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