Most people are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of using abortion as birth control, and many abortion advocates claim that it isn’t being used that way. But new statistics from the UK indicate that thousands of women may have done just that.
The Mirror reports 4,905 women in 2015 went to have at least their fourth abortion in their lifetime, according to the British Department of Health. The total number of women who had four or more abortions likely is much higher; however, the news outlet said it was not able to collect data from a number of local authorities.
Based on the current estimates, about 2.9 percent of all abortions in 2015 in the UK were at least the woman’s fourth abortion in her lifetime. Some London areas saw even higher percentages. The south London borough of Croydon ranked No. 1 at 6.2 percent, meaning 125 of the 2,023 women who had abortions there were having at least their fourth abortion, according to the report.
The news outlet said it obtained the data through a Freedom of Information Act request.
In May, a British government report also pointed to evidence that older women were relying on abortions as a method of birth control.
The Telegraph reported women in their 30s and 40s are having more abortions in England and Wales than ever before, according to a new abortion report from the British Department of Health. A similar trend is happening in the U.S., where abortions among teens are dropping rapidly and abortions among older women and women with children are making up a larger percentage of all abortions.
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According to the Telegraph, experts attributed the drop to older women who underestimate their fertility and fail to use contraception; when they experience “accidental pregnancies” as a result, more older women are resorting to abortion as a method of birth control.
In the past decade, abortion rates have fallen among every age group except those over 30 in England and Wales, according to The Express. The government data shows women over 35 had the highest number of abortions on record for their age group in 2015. Among women over 35, the abortion rate increased 15 percent from 2005 to 2015, and the rate among women ages 30 to 34 increased 18 percent, according to the report.
Despite strong opposition to the idea, some women have admitted to using abortion as a method of birth control. Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans, even some who identify as pro-choice, want abortions to be abolished or limited to rare circumstances during the first trimester.