FPA to defend DoH policy on abortion

Sexual health charity FPA is preparing to defend the Department of Health's abortion guidance in a High Court case brought by a woman seeking the right to know if her teenage daughters ever get pregnant.

The department refused Sue Axon's written request last November to change its guidance, which does not allow doctors to break patient confidentiality and inform mothers if their daughters become pregnant. Axon was granted a High Court review last month. The case is expected to be heard by April.

FPA chief executive Anne Weyman said: "We would be willing to intervene in court to support the DoH on this matter. The guidance is very clear that confidentiality may only be breached in cases of sexual abuse."

Brook chief executive Jan Barlow added: "We know that fears about confidentiality are the biggest deterrent to young people seeking advice on sexual health.

"In the context of the UK's high teenage pregnancy rates and rising rates of sexually transmitted infections, it is vital that this right to confidentiality is not undermined."

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