Britain Sees Abortions Increase Four Percent, Pro-Lifers Call for Alternatives

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 19, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Britain Sees Abortions Increase Four Percent, Pro-Lifers Call for Alternatives

Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 19
, 2007

London, England ( — Abortions in the UK are on the rise again and this time the government figures show the number there is up four percent. The figures brought a strong response from pro-life groups who say more alternatives are needed as well as legislation to reform the pro-abortion laws that allow them to the later parts of pregnancy.

The new abortion data comes as the country is marking 40 years of legalized abortion after the Abortion Act allowed abortions in 1967.

The Department of Health reports there were 193,700 abortions in 2006, a 3.9 percent increase over the 186,400 in 2005.

The figures showed that 89 percent of the abortions were done on babies who were under 13 weeks gestation and 68 percent were less than 10 weeks into the pregnancy.

They also revealed that 32 percent of women having an abortion last year had already had a previous abortion. That percentage remains unchanged even though the British government spent more than $50 million promoting contraception.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, told the London Telegraph that, "These are disappointing figures, especially on repeat abortions which further illustrates the failure of the Government’s strategies on sexual health and teenage pregnancy."

Health Minister Caroline Flint applauded those numbers saying that the government is spending heavily on promoting early term abortions over late-term abortions.

But pro-life groups say there is little difference since unborn children lose their life in either one and they want something down about England’s very lenient abortion laws and lack of alternatives.

Michaela Aston of the pro-life group Life, said the government has an opportunity to reform the abortion laws when it considers a bill on human embryos this fall.

"This [bill] represents the best chance for a genuine and comprehensive parliamentary debate on the topic of abortion in almost 20 years," she said.

Aston also called on the government and charitable agencies there to do more to promote abortion alternatives.

"We know from experience and from the findings of public opinion surveys that in many cases women do not want abortions, but feel that they have no other choice," she said.

"There is a real need for constructive solutions to crisis pregnancy, solutions that try to tackle the issues that make their pregnancy problematic, whether they are to do with housing, financial worries or lack of family support."

The statistics showed that women aged 19 had the highest abortion rates in the nation. Previously the highest rate was among women aged 20-24 years.

More teenagers had abortions than the previous year and the abortion rates on teenagers is increasing. Pro-life groups are worried that they see abortion as a method of contraception.

Some 18.3 women per 1,000 between the ages of 15-44 had abortions last year.