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Nearly 400 girls aged 15 or younger having abortions in London

24 November 2015


It is still a criminal offence in the UK to have sex with anyone under 16, the age of consent

Nearly 400 girls aged 15 or younger underwent abortions in London in the most recent year on record, new figures show.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics reveal 397 girls aged 15 or under had abortions in the capital in 2013, the latest year for which figures are available.

It is still a criminal offence in the UK to have sex with anyone under the age of consent (16).

"Heartbreaking"

The borough with the highest number of underage abortions was Croydon, where 25 were carried out. There were twenty-four carried out in both Lambeth and Barking & Dagenham.

Over 65 percent of all under-16 pregnancies in London end in abortion.

Antonia Tully of Safe at School commented: "Every abortion is a tragedy.  An unborn baby is killed and a woman risks emotional or physical suffering. It is heartbreaking that so many underage London girls have undergone this invasive and distressing procedure.

"However, we need to be clear that access to contraception and abortion does not bring down teenage pregnancies and abortions."

2014

Figures for 2014 are not yet available, but Freedom of Information (FOI) data requested by the Evening Standard reveals that Barts Health, which covers Tower Hamlets and Newham, carried out the most abortions on girls aged 15 or younger last year of all the capital’s hospital trusts.

It performed the procedure on 20 girls, up from 18 in 2013/14 but down from 32 in 2012/13.

Under-16 abortions by London borough in 2013

  • Barking & Dagenham:    24
  • Barnet:    11
  • Bexley:    13
  • Brent:    10
  • Bromley:    21
  • Camden:    Under 10
  • Croydon:    25
  • Ealing:    13
  • Enfield:    16
  • Hackney & City of London:    10
  • Hammersmith & Fulham:    Under 10
  • Haringey:    12
  • Islington:    Under 10
  • Greenwich:    19
  • Harrow:    Under 10
  • Havering:    17
  • Hillingdon:    14
  • Hounslow:    13
  • Kensington & Chelsea:    Under 10
  • Kingston upon Thames:    Under 10
  • Lambeth:    24
  • Lewisham:    14
  • Merton:    Under 10
  • Newham:    17
  • Redbridge:    Under 10
  • Richmond upon Thames:    Under 10
  • Southwark:    18
  • Sutton:    12
  • Tower Hamlets:    Under 10
  • Wandsworth:    10
  • Westminster:    Under 10
  • Waltham Forest:    14
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