RCOG records relating to the 1967 Abortion Act, 1964-1982

Scope and Content

College correspondence and papers relating to the involvement of the RCOG in the issue of abortion, in particular the development of the 1967 Abortion Act and subsequent acts, including discussion with medical and government bodies of amendments to the Abortion Bill, legal opinions on the interpretation of the Act, implications of the Act for nurses and for the job descriptions of consultants, papers on the RCOG questionnaire on abortion (1969-1971), the Lane Committee of Enquiry into the Working of the Act (1966-1971), and the Joint RCOG/Royal College of General Practitioners study of attitudes to pregnancy (1976-1977), together with copies of the relevant parliamentary and Hansard reports, and presscuttings relating to the Abortion Acts and surrounding issues.

Administrative / Biographical History

These records comprise the principal files of College presidents on the Abortion Act 1967 and the College's involvement in the issue of abortion, from the presidency of Sir Hector MacLennan to the first year of that of Sir Rustam Feroze.

Access Information

Permission from RCOG senior management via the College Archivist is required for access to these records.

Acquisition Information

Internal transfers from the President's Office and the College Library.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright of the RCOG. Reproductions available from the College Archivist.

Related Material

Related material held at the RCOG is found at the following references:

RCOG/B10/12 Fetal viability working party

RCOG/A4 Correspondence relating to the 1967 Abortion Act and later amendments

RCOG/B7/E Records of the College's steering committee for a study into late abortion, 1981-1984

RCOG/A7/4/3 Records of the Honorary secretaries on abortion

RCOG/A3/2/3 Additional records relating to the Lane committee of enquiry into the working of the 1967 Act

RCOG/C18 The RCOG's response to a Ministry of Health enquiry into abortion dated 1938-1938

RCOG/C7/2 The College's record of the joint RCOG-RCGP study of attitudes to pregnancy and induced abortion (referred to at A16/22), 1972-1976

RCOG/C21/5 Correspondence of an Advisory Appointments Committee relating to wording of advertisements for appointments to hospitals where abortions are performed, 1977

RCOG/E4/32 Postgraduate meeting: results of the RCOG confidential enquiry into late abortion and studies in the causation of fetal abnormality (January 1984)

RCPG/M13 Records of the working party on termination of pregnancy for fetal abnormality, 1995-1996

RCOG/P4/11 RCOG Green-top Guideline no 11 - Published College guidelines on induced abortion (2001)

RCOG/P5/7 Evidence-based Clinical Guideline No 7: The care of women requesting induced abortion (2000)

RCOG/P10/1 Clinical Guideline: Antenatal care, routine care for the healthy pregnant woman (2001)

RCOG/P4/11/1 - RCOG Green-top Guideline no 11: Induced abortion (1997)


The results of the RCOG questionnaire on abortion referred to at A16/8 were published in the British Medical Journal (1970), 2, pp 529-535