Termination of Pregnancy in Scotland

Annual update of terminations of pregnancy in Scotland.

Terminations are carried out under the terms of the Abortion Act 1967 with two doctors agreeing that a termination of pregnancy is necessary under at least one of the Grounds as specified in the 1991 Regulations. There is a legal requirement on service providers to notify the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland (CMO) of all terminations under-taken in Scotland. Prior to 1st May 2022 PHS received termination data from the CMO. Since 1st May 2022 PHS has received this data direct from termination services on the Termination of Pregnancy Submissions Scotland (ToPSS) system. An abortion can be induced (therapeutic) or spontaneous (miscarriage) and may be carried out either surgically (eg vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage) or medically using two drugs, an antiprogesterone and a prostaglandin. This report focuses only on induced abortions. We also refer to these as terminations of pregnancy to avoid confusion with spontaneous abortions.

Information is provided by age, gestation, method of termination, NHS board of residence, deprivation area, previous termination and council area of residence.

For more information on terminations of pregnancy see the terminations section of the PHS website and the annual publication. For related topics, please see the sexual health pages.

The date of the next release can be found on our list of forthcoming publications.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Source Termination of Pregnancy Submissions Scotland (ToPSS)
Author Maternity & Sexual Health team
Last Updated March 26, 2024, 13:08 (GMT)
Created March 17, 2020, 14:49 (GMT)
Contact Address Public Health Scotland, Gyle Square, 1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB
Subject Sexual Health
Frequency Annual
Time frame of data and timeliness Terminations up to 2022
Coverage Terminations of pregnancy carried out in Scotland that are added to the ToPSS system
Completeness Some records may be incomplete at time of data extract so some missing data items are possible. Some terminations may not have been entered on the ToPSS system in time for the annual data extract.
Accuracy System validation places some control on the accuracy of data.
Continuity of data Open data is available from 2000.
Concepts and definitions Concepts and definitions are provided in the full report available on the PHS website.
Disclosure The PHS statistical disclosure protocol has been followed.
Revision statement A planned revision takes place each year once the data from England and Wales is published.
Official statistics designation National Statistics
Relevance and key uses of the statistics Making information publicly available for planning, epidemiology, provision of services, monitoring standards, and the statistics provide comparative information.
Format csv
Language English

PHS - Sexual Health

Termination of Pregnancy publications

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