Life Link One, the regional hub of the national prolife charity Life, is calling for urgent action from the government to reduce the extremely high Birmingham and Black Country abortion rates, the second highest in the country.
The abortion statistics for 2016, released yesterday, show there were 10,576 abortions in the Birmingham and Black Country area alone. Overall, nearly 20 out of every 1000 women in the area had an abortion – the second highest rate in the country, and well above the national average of 16 per 1000 women.
There were 450 abortions to girls under 18, and nearly one-third of all girls under 25 presenting for an abortion had already had one before.
Link One Manager Beckie Reeves said, “Birmingham and the Black Country sadly remains an abortion hotspot in this country. Each one of these abortions represents a personal crisis for a woman and the loss of her child. A May 2017 Comres poll showed that 84% of women want improved pregnancy support for women in crisis. Life, now through its regional hubs like Link One, has been providing care for pregnant women so they may continue their pregnancy. Our Pregnancy Matters™ service offers counselling, practical support and housing to help a woman address the underlying reasons she feels she needs an abortion.
“These services are clearly much in need. One-third of all Birmingham girls under 25 presenting for an abortion had already had at least one abortion before, so clearly the original abortion did not solve the reason they were seeking the abortion in the first place.
“The Comres poll also found that found that 70% of women want the current time limit on abortion, 24 weeks, to be lowered and 91% of women want a ban on sex-selective abortion. Women clearly want better than the current law provides.
“We urge the new government to make support for pregnant women a priority, so that fewer need undergo the trauma of abortion. The current situation shows that we are failing women, and failing to protect the most vulnerable in society. The women and children of Birmingham deserve better.”