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More than 7 million abortions in the UK since 1967

21 May 2009

The government has published the latest annual statistics for abortions in England and Wales. [Department of Health, 21 May] Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said: "The scandal of government backed abortions is reflected in these figures, which show the highest ever number of NHS-funded abortions. State provision of abortion is now a major aspect of government policy - a policy which hurts women and kills unborn children. For the first time, in 2008 the majority of abortions were performed in private clinics at the NHS' expense. The figures show a slight drop in the total abortions registered under the Abortion Act in 2008, but the figure remains higher than the 2006 number, and more abortions than ever were funded by tax-payers. The number of NHS abortions in private clinics has increased by 11-fold in the past 17 years. The total number of abortions under the Abortion Act 1967 has now exceeded seven million." [SPUC, 21 May]

A Irish group which counsels pregnant women claims that an increasing number of women are considering having an abortion because of the recession. Berit Andersen, a counsellor with PACT, said: "These are couples who may already have two or three children and the cost of another is simply not manageable." [Irish Examiner, 20 May] New figures from America suggest that a recent decline in the birth-rate there may have pre-dated the current economic difficulties. [BBC, 19 May]

The leader of Spain's main opposition party has pledged to oppose the Spanish government's new abortion bill. Mariano Rajoy, leader of the People's Party, said that "the law is bad in its foundations and its form and doesn't help women." Mr Rajoy also he would be prepared to oppose the bill in Spain's highest constitutional court. [LifeSite, 19 May]
A doctor found guilty of a sex-selective abortion has committed suicide. Dr Laxmi Garg of Punjab province took lethal tablets in the courtroom immediately after receiving a reduced sentence of 18 months. Female foeticide is punishable in India with up to three years' imprisonment. [Express, 19 May]

A disability rights group in Wisconsin, America, is suing a hospital for withdrawing treatment from patients with disabilities. Disability Rights Wisconsin alleges that one disabled patient died as a result of neglect by the University of Wisconsin Hospital. Barbara Lyons, director of Wisconsin Right to Life, praised the law-suit and pointed out the hospital's practice of late-term abortions. [LifeNews, 18 May]

An Anglican bishop has spoken out against changing the law to allow assisted suicide. George Cassidy, the bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, said that parliament "should not accept any amendments which would relax the existing law and diminish the protection offered to those at risk of self-destruction. Such a step would be wrong in itself." The bishop was speaking in the House of Lords during the second reading debate of the government's Coroners and Justice bill. [Hansard, 18 May]

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