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Defending life
from conception to natural death


New Statistics Reveal Brutal Reality of UK Abortion Industry Which Claims More Than 500 Lives Every Day

13 June 2017


Reacting to 2016 Abortion Statistics for England and Wales, which were published today, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) which was formed in 1967 - the same year as the Abortion Act was passed - said the figures hid a massive toll of human misery and reveal the horrendous impact of the abortion industry.

The figures revealed that the vast majority of abortions were carried out under “mental health” grounds, and contained grim details of the numbers of feticides – cases where the pregnancy is so advanced the baby is killed prior to the abortion itself.

 Year on year the overall numbers reflect little change with 190,406 abortions carried out in England and Wales in 2016, slightly lower than in 2015 (191,014). On women resident in England and Wales, the total number of abortions was 185,596 in 2016, slightly lower than in 2015 when it was 185,824.

Concern about the impact of abortion on women is a priority for SPUC.

 Responding to the fact that 97% of abortions in 2016 were undertaken under Ground C (risk to physical or mental health of the woman)  and of those 99.8% were listed as being because of mental health, SPUC Campaigns Director Antonia Tully said:

"These figures tell the same story we've been hearing for decades. The vast majority of abortions are carried out on the grounds that a woman's mental health is more at risk if she continues with the pregnancy than if she has an abortion. We know that doctors are not making a proper mental health assessment of women before signing the abortion form. This means that they are certifying women for abortion on false grounds."

 Mrs Tully said the impact on the mental health of women was causing deep and genuine fears and added:    

“The evidence pointing to the harm to a woman's mental health is piling up.  The medical establishment is either ignorant of these studies or willfully ignoring them. Abortion is a significant mental health risk factor and the abortion industry in this country is betraying women on a massive scale.”

 Mrs Tully added:

“The death toll is a reflection on the state of the abortion industry in this country.

“Each day we witness the routine signing of abortion forms, taking no account of the woman's mental health which fuels what has become a multi-million pound  industry.  

“97% of abortions undertaken are under ground C and of those 99.8% are because of risk to women's mental health.

“And there is clear evidence of the bulk signing of abortion forms. This was just one of 2,600 health and safety violations disclosed by the Care Quality Commission in their damning report on Marie Stopes International, Britain's second largest abortion provider.

“Recently, a Daily Mail investigation revealed that women were being signed off for abortion by Marie Stopes International in just 22 seconds.

“This is making a mockery of the abortion law in this country, which while it is a bad law, is at least designed to offer protection to women and their unborn babies from the unscrupulous practice we see today.

“The brutal uncivilised reality of what happens to babies in Britain is dramatically brought home by considering the fact the number of feticides – of 1508 abortions carried out post 22 weeks, 48% were reported as being preceded by feticide, and 45% involved stopping the fetal heart.

“This year, in the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act, SPUC is campaigning to put an end to the scandal of miscertification of abortion.  

“SPUC is engaging with concerned citizens at the grassroots. SPUC is asking them to contact their MP and demand that the Secretary of State for Health takes steps to ensure that doctors are not flouting the law by signing off women for abortion with no evidence that having a baby will damage their mental health.

"Since the Abortion Act of 1967, an estimated 8.7 million unborn children have been killed in the UK - that’s almost FIVE times the 1.8 million population of Northern Ireland.

"There are around 550 abortions every day. Almost all (98 per cent) are carried out at the expense of the taxpayer.

"SPUC - and our pro-life allies - seek to uphold Article Three of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees the right to life so that unborn babies are not treated as 'non-persons'.

"The job of the pro-life movement in 2017 is to make the idea of stopping abortion completely in the UK completely normal – because it really is normal not to kill children.”

The main facts of the report include:

  • 97% of abortions in 2016 were undertaken are under Ground C (risk to physical or mental health of the woman)  and of those 99.8% were listed as being because of mental health
  • Number of feticides – of 1508 abortions carried out post 22 weeks, 48% were reported as being preceded by feticide, and 45% involved stopping the fetal heart. 
  • The complications rate was similar to 2015. One maternal death was reported.
  • There was an increase in selective terminations following fertility treatment – 141 in 2016, up from 119 in 2015.
  •  Abortion rates for under 25s have declined in last ten years. Decline particularly marked in under 16 and 16-17 age groups.

Notes to editors:

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