Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Psychiatric referrals since the Abortion Act 1967
  1. F. E. Kenyon


    During the 1st year of the Abortion Act, 1967, sixty-five patients were seen for a psychiatric opinion. Of these 50% were single, 36% married and 14% separated or divorced.

    Referral was by the general practitioner in 60%, gynaecologist 36% and ‘other’ 4%.

    Mean length of psychiatric history was 18·9 months. Half had had unhappy childhoods and family relationships were frequently disturbed. Four (6%) were University students.

    Mean length of pregnancy was 11·0 weeks and for 87% of the single patients it was their first; for 36% of the married group it was their third. In fourteen (21%) the pregnancy resulted from a contraceptive failure.

    There was a previous psychiatric history in 69%. The commonest diagnosis was depression, mainly of neurotic type (52%) but 29% had no gross psychiatric disorder.

    Termination of pregnancy was recommended in thirty-two (49%), this included six where sterilization was also advised.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.