Tens of thousands of British women are having multiple abortions, according to shocking new abortion statistics released by the NHS.
The figures, which also reveal that alarming numbers of teenagers are having terminations, are likely to reignite concern that abortion is being treated as a form of contraception.
During 2009 a staggering 195,743 abortions were performed in England and Wales, with a further 13,005 terminations being performed in Scotland.
The official stats reveal that of the abortions carried out on women resident in England and Wales, 63,309 – 34 per cent of the total – were for women who had previously had at least one abortion.
And of the abortions carried out in Scotland, this figure stood at 3,658, accounting for 28 per cent of the total.
Norman Wells, Director of the Family Education Trust, said Britain’s high abortion rates are an “inevitable consequence of a society that has made an idol out of sexual pleasure.”
The stats also show that a worrying number of teenage girls are opting for terminations.
In England and Wales over a thousand abortions were performed on girls under the age of 15, and a further 39,020 abortions were performed on girls resident in England and Wales, aged between 15 and 19.
And in Scotland there were 3,214 abortions on teenagers aged 19 and under.
Norman Wells commented: “It is not ignorance of contraception that leads to alarming rates of teenage abortions.
“The contraceptive culture has made girls feel they have a right to have babies to order and to do away with any that would interfere with their chosen lifestyle.”
Last year’s abortion totals show an overall decline from 2008 when there were 202,158 abortions in England and Wales, and a further 13,817 in Scotland.
The new figures, which were released on Tuesday, come in the wake of the nation’s first ever televised advert for abortion services, which aired on Channel 4 on Monday night.
Abortion provider Marie Stopes International claim the commercial, which will run until the end of June, will help women to make a more informed choice about their pregnancies and sexual health.
But pro-lifers have blasted the ad, warning that it “trivialises human life”.
Last week it was revealed that health chiefs in Southampton had created a children’s character, Charlie Condom, to promote condoms to 13-year-olds.
But critics warned that the scheme would simply normalise underage sex.
Ron Clooney, from the teachers union NASUWT, criticised the plans, saying: “This method, where underage impressionable teenagers can get condoms so openly, condones the idea of underage sex.
“Having a giant condom launching this is ridiculous. This needs to be treated as a serious subject. No amount of silly characters with condoms on their heads are going to cure the issue.”