The Termination of Pregnancy abortion business in South Tyneside, located on the coast of northern England, near Newcastle, will be closing soon for unknown reasons.
As part of an overhaul, the abortion facility will close and women seeking abortions will now have to travel to Gateshead and Sunderland to get abortions or to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, which the Shields Gazette newspaper says is seeing more referrals for abortions.
Officials with the medical center to which TOP was connected would not say why the abortion clinic would be shuttered, but they said they expected abortions to resume at a future date. The newspaper said the hospital in Harton Lane, South Shields did 416 abortions last year.
“In the short term, patients will be able to access existing services in Gateshead and Sunderland,” a spokesman for the NHS, the British government-run health care system which pays for abortions, told the newspaper. “This will ensure that there will be no increase in waiting times for women attending the service.”
“We are looking at options to re-provide this service within South Tyneside and, as part of this, we are consulting with key stakeholders as a priority to ensure that the new service meets the needs of women within the borough,” the NHS official added.
Earlier this year, a new report from the British health department showed abortions on the rise again in the United Kingdom and the number of repeat abortions is still high.
The figures indicate 189,574 abortions were done in 2010, up .3% from the 189,100 abortions in 2009 and 8% more than in 2000 (175,542). Those abortions were done in residents of England and Wales and another 6,535 abortions were done on women and unborn children who are not residents of the United Kingdom. The increase is the first time abortions have gone up since 2006-2007.
The new figures show about half of the abortions were done on women who had an unmarried partner at the time, 26 percent were done on single women and 16 percent of women who had abortions were married at the time.
The stats also showed 3,718 abortions were done on the unborn children of girls under the age of 18, which is down slightly, 12,742 were done on 16-17-year-old girls, and 21,809 were done on girls aged 18 or 19. On the other end of the spectrum, women over the age of 35 had 27,046 abortions.
Repeat abortions are still a problem in the UK as 64,303 procedures were done on women who already had at least one abortion and 1,201 were done on girls under 18 who had at least one abortion already while another 79 were done on girls under age 18 who had two or more previous abortions. The statistics revealed almost 300 women between the ages of 25 and 29 had four or more previous abortions at the time of the abortion they had in 2010.
The abortion rate continues to remain high as it was 17.5 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, the same last year but more than double the 1970 rate.