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Abortion (957A/22)


I am looking for information from each police force on occasions between 2012 and 2022 (or when data is most recently available) where an individual or a number of individuals have been prosecuted in relation to an abortion or miscarriage (including third parties, such as men who have caused a woman to miscarry).

I am looking for instances where the crime was reported but not taken forward, as well as instances where a police investigation took forward and a suspect was arrested and charged.

For each case, can you please include the following:

  1. List the specific legislation that was used to bring forward a prosecution, such as:
    a) Sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act
    b) The Infant Life Preservation Act 1929
    c)Any other legislation used
  2. Anonymised details of the report.


In relation to question 1, please be advised we are unable to provide prosecution data as this information is not routinely fed back into our systems, and we do not have access to magistrates’ court data. Additionally, the specific legislation used to prosecute an individual cannot be determined from our data, therefore we have instead provided recorded crimes with the corresponding Home Office Codes and also recorded arrests. Please find this information attached.

In relation to question 2, this information is exempt by virtue of the following exemptions:

Section 30(1)(a)(b) – Investigations

Section 40(2) – Personal information

These exemptions and explanatory notes are shown here:

In line with Section 30 above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached (957A_PIT).

Section 40(2) allows for personal data to be withheld where release would breach the third party’s data protection rights. You have requested copies of the reports / MO notes, however due to the low number of cases, to provide this detail would present a risk of identifying a specific case and / or individuals. It would be unfair to release this information where any person could be identified from the data and in this case the right to privacy outweighs any public interest in release.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.