The Scottish Government has no plans to reduce the limit on terminating pregnancies, the Health Secretary said, after he reportedly stated there is "a case" for lowering it from 24 weeks.
Alex Neil told a newspaper he personally believes the current limit should be looked at, although he would not be drawn on specifying a limit.
His comments came after UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he would like to see a ban on terminations more than 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
The intervention from the newly-appointed Scottish Health Secretary drew criticism from Green co-convener Patrick Harvie and women's rights campaigners.
Speaking to the Scotland on Sunday, Mr Neil suggested the cut proposed by Mr Hunt was not realistic but said he favoured a look at the current situation.
He said: "I do think there is a case to be had for a reduction from 24 weeks, but I don't know if 12 weeks is realistic, frankly.
"But I do think there is now a case, given the state of medical science and the fact that babies do survive from a much earlier stage in the pregnancy.
"I do think there is a case for looking to bring down the number of weeks, but that is a personal opinion."
Mr Neil said he would not pick a number weeks "out of the air", saying it was right to look at evidence on the subject. Mr Harvie said Mr Neil's comments were "irresponsible".
He told the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland: "As soon as I read that article I immediately put down a written question asking whether the Scottish Government remains committed to reproductive health services which are accessible and which support women's rights."