Number of abortions in England and Wales reached ten year high in 2017
12 December 2018
The abortion rate is at a ten year high.
There were more abortions for disability than previously thought
Revised abortion statistics published by the Department of Health and Social Care show that the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales in 2017 was the highest for ten years.
When the statistics were published as usual in June, the total number of abortions was given as 194,668, the highest since 2011. However, 3000 records were missing from the original publication. The new figure is 197,533, the highest since 2008.
The reporting problem was originally thought to have affected the 2016 statistics as well, but the updated report confirms that no changes needed to be made. This means that there were more than seven thousand more abortions in 2017 than 2016, an increase of 4%.
Older women having abortions
The takeaway making headlines is that over the last 10 years abortion rates have been increasing for women aged 30 and over. The abortion rate for 30-34 year olds was 18.5 per 1,000 resident women in 2017. This has increased from a rate of 15.1 per 1,000 women in 2007.
Showing the extent to which abortion is now often seen as a normal decision, not just for hard cases, a woman told the Telegraph that she had an abortion at the age of 39, despite being happily married to a supportive husband. Sadly, despite being initially excited by the pregnancy, a few weeks of fear and anxiety - feelings which may well have been temporary - led her to the irreversible decision of aborting her baby.
Eliminating disabled babies
The revised figures also show that the policy of eliminating disabled babies is continuing at an even worse rate than thought. 3,314 abortions were due to the "risk that the child would be born seriously handicapped" (rather than the 3,158 in the original statistics). This means that there has been an increase from the 3208 reported in 2016 - and and even bigger escalation when compared with 2,307 in 2011.
Those who have experienced abortion will know that the figures put out by the government do nothing to capture the enormity of the life-long consequences of each and every recorded statistic in this area.
News in brief: