Abortion statistics released by the Department for Health this morning show the highest number of abortions ever recorded for English and Welsh residents.
The figures show that:
- In England and Wales, there were 209,519 abortions in 2019, an increase of 3.4% from 2018.
- There was a rise in repeat abortions from 78,988 in 2018 to 83,624 in 2019.
- 126 selective termination procedures were performed, where a twin, triplet or more were aborted in the womb.
- There were 3,183 disability-selective abortions in 2019. This represents a 53% increase compared to 2009.
- 656 babies with Down’s syndrome were aborted in 2019.
- There were 17 abortions where the baby had cleft lip or cleft palate.
The Department of Health also reported that the number of abortions funded by the NHS performed by private abortion providers reached a record high of 153,601.
This represents 74% of abortions, up from 72% in 2018. It also represents a 255% increase since 1999 when there 43,266 performed by private providers.
In response to the figures, spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: “It is a national tragedy that 209,519 lives were lost to abortion in 2019. This is the highest number of abortions ever in England and Wales. Every one of these abortions represents a failure of our society to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies.
“Polling shows large majorities of women in the UK support changes to our abortion laws that would have a positive impact on lowering the number of abortions. 70% of women want the current time limit on abortion to be lowered and 91% of women want a ban on sex-selective abortion.
“Proposals from abortion campaigners to remove legal restrictions around abortion and introduce abortion right to birth would likely see these numbers get even worse.
“We are calling on the Government to urgently bring forward sensible new restrictions and increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies. This would ensure we were working together as a society to reduce the tragic number of abortions that happen each year.”