Life is calling for urgent action from the Department of Health to reduce the extremely high number of abortions in England and Wales following another annual report showing the number of abortions remaining relatively constant for the last five years.
The abortion statistics for 2016, released this morning, shows there were 185,596 abortions in England and Wales.
38% of the abortions were repeat abortions. Nearly half of women who had an abortion over the age of 25 had one previously. There was also an 18.5% increase in selective reduction abortions.
Abortions for disability have also sky rocketed over the last five years with an increase of 39% since 2011. In 2016, there were 9 abortions for cleft lip and cleft palate and 706 for Down’s syndrome.
Life’s Director of Education, Anne Scanlan, said: “While we are pleased that the report also shows a drop in the number of abortions on girls under 16, we remain concerned that over 1500 girls under the age of consent (16) had an abortion last year. Recent polling shows 70% of parents want the introduction of parental consent for girls 15 and under to have an abortion.
The abortion rate in this country is a national tragedy. While this may be profitable for the abortion industry, each one of those abortions represents a personal crisis for a woman and the loss of her child. It is little wonder, that a May 2017 ComRes poll showed that women in the UK want greater restrictions on abortion. The results found that 70% of women want the current time limit on abortion to be lowered and 91% of women want a ban on sex-selective abortion.
Crucially, 84% of women want improved pregnancy support for women in crisis. Life has spent four decades providing pregnant women in crisis with the practical support they need to continue with their pregnancy, but greater assistance is needed from the Government. Simply placing women on the abortion conveyor belt does not solve the underlying issues which lead to unplanned pregnancy and abortion.
We urge the new Government to make support for pregnant women a priority, particularly for vulnerable pregnant women and those in crisis situations who want to keep their baby but feel they have no other choice. The current situation is not ‘progressive’. It reflects a failure to offer real choice to women, and a failure to protect the most vulnerable in society whose lives have been ended through abortion. Women and children deserve better.”