by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
August 29, 2004
London, England (LifeNews.com) — Recent abortion statistics reveal that 2003 was a record year for abortions in England, with the highest abortion rate in the nation’s history. Pro-life organizations are criticizing lax government policies and enforcement for the increase.
Figures from the Department of Health show that 181,600 abortions were carried out in 2003, an increase of 3.2 percent over the previous year.
Pro-life advocates are particularly shocked by the sharp increase in abortions performed on girls under 15, which rose 8.9 percent.
There is "no doubt that the rise is due to the government’s policy of easing access to abortion," said Patrick Leahy, Director of Student LifeNet. "In the last year it has pursued a policy of lowering waiting times, and more recently, ensuring teenagers get access to abortion without their parents’ knowledge."
The British Department of Health was sharply criticized earlier this month for recommending that health professionals "establish a rapport" with patients under the age of 16 who are seeking contraceptives.
The directive also states that when a minor wishes to have an abortion, but will not involve a parent, another adult should be contacted to provide support — despite the uproar surrounding a secret abortion in May performed on a British 14-year-old without the consent of her mother.
"Everyone knows that abortion is not an easy choice to make. More abortions equals more ruined lives. The government must stop ruining the lives of our generation," added Leahy.
Julia Millington, Political Director of the ProLife Party, commented on the fact that the Department of Health would not release a breakdown of the 1,950 abortions performed because the child was expected to have a disability.
Millington, calling the withholding of such information a "scandal," demanded that the government release those statistics.
"It was the discovery of a late abortion for cleft palate in the 2001 statistics that gave rise to the legal challenge," Millington in a statement. "Both the general public and parliamentarians have expressed grave concern over the eugenic practice of abortion for disability. It is outrageous that the government have withheld this information in light of the court case."
Millington referred to the case discovered by Joanna Jepson, a religious official who brought the late-term abortion to the attention of the courts. Late term abortions are only permitted in England for cases involving serious health defects, but doesn’t include a cleft palate.
Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), noted that 12 percent of the women having abortions described themselves as black or black British, even though blacks make up a little more than two percent of the total British population.
"Today’s figures indicate that the Department of Health is pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing in Britain — under the cover of its abortion policies," Tully said.
Tully noted that the statistics indicate that not only black, but Asian women as well, are being targeted for abortion.