Scotland Abortions Reach All-Time High New Government Figures Show

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 24, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scotland Abortions Reach All-Time High New Government Figures Show Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 24, 2006

Edinburgh, Scotland ( — New government figures show that the number of abortions in Scotland are now at an all-time high, which puts it at odds with the current trend of abortions on the decline worldwide. Abortion was legalized there in 1967 and the new figures show there were 12,603 abortions in 2005.

The new data comes from the NHS health board, which said Tayside and the Lothians had the highest abortion rates of any areas of Scotland. Argyll and Clyde, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles showed the lowest abortion figures.

According to a BBC report, the government health agency reported there were 142 more abortions last year than there were in 2004. Abortions on teens are on the rise as well.

The figures also showed that 3,304 abortions were done on girls under the age of 20 — 86 more than last year and 201 more than in 2003.

The BBC said the number of abortions done on teens under 16 also increased to a new record of 341 last year.

"It is disappointing that there has been a rise in abortions for girls under 16," Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr. Harry Burns told the BBC.

"Education also has a key role to play, which is why we are working with parents, schools and NHS Health Scotland to provide additional support and information around relationships and sexual health," Burns said.

The health department figures showed the abortion rate rose for every 1,000 women aged 15 – 44 to 11.9 from 10.9 in 1996.

About two-thirds of the abortions were done at less than 10 weeks of pregnancy, which is up from 55.8 percent in 1992.

The BBC said the report also shows the number of women using the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, also known as mifepristone, is on the rise as well. The drug has already killed two British women and is responsible for killing 12 women worldwide and injuring more than 950 women in the United States alone.

About 200,000 women have abortions annually in Britain.