British Figures Show 1,300 Women Have Had Five Abortions, Hundreds Have More

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Figures Show 1,300 Women Have Had Five Abortions, Hundreds Have More

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 19
, 2008

London, England ( — As members of Parliament prepare to debate some limits on late-term abortions and abortions on disabled babies, new figures show 1,300 women have had five abortions or more. The repeat abortion stats worry pro-life groups that some women are viewing abortion as a method of birth control.

The figures came from the British government in response to Tory backbencher Mark Pritchard as MPs prepare to debate the human embryo bill and limits on abortion.

The figures also show 950 women in England and Wales who have had four previous abortions at the time of their fifth. Another 200 had five abortions at the time of their sixth, 110 had six previous abortions at the time of the seventh, and 54 had seven or more previous abortions at the time they sought another.

Those figures, covering 2006, show the number of repeat abortions skyrocketing as 58,740 women had at least one abortion when seeking their second in 2004. That increased to 61,904 having had a previous abortion when requesting one in 2006.

Liberal Democrat MP Phil Willis, whose committee rejected tightening the time limit on abortions of healthy babies from 24 to 20 weeks into pregnancy, told the London Daily Mail the numbers represented "a massive failure in the system."

He proposed long-term sterilization as an answer to the epidemic.

"The real challenge is what is the Government proposing to do to make sure that women presenting for multiple abortions are properly counseled and offered sterilization," he told the newspaper.

Willis said the women having the abortions shouldn’t be condemned because they probably included women who are victims of the sex trafficking industry.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries, who is leading the charge on strengthening the late-term abortion limits, said Britain needs to promote better sexual education practices.

"We need better sex education in schools to get the message over that abortion is not an appropriate or healthy form of contraception," she said.

The figures from 2005 showed an increase in repeat abortions as well for teenagers.

The British government reported 316 girls under the age of 18 had a second abortion during 2005 with 90 girls having a third abortion.
Another 44 women had undergone eight or more abortions including 20 who were under the age of 30.