The number of abortions taking place in England and Wales has reached a record high, new figures show.
Numbers increased by more than 4,000 according to official statistics published today. There were 205,598 abortions in 2007 compared to 201,173 in 2006.
For girls aged 14 or below, the number of abortions have shot up 12 per cent to 1,171.
The highest abortion rate is among 19 year-olds, with 36 per 1,000 having terminations.
Abortions among women aged below 18 increased by 8.5 per cent to 20,289. The abortion rate among that age group is 19.8 per 1,000 women.
Attempts to reduce the number of abortions by lowering the upper time limit were defeated in the Commons in May, though they were supported by the majority of the public.
Claire Curtis-Thomas MP, a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group said: “The numbers of UK abortions are truly horrifying.
“We should be putting all our effort into reducing these numbers through sensible precautions such as offering a full range of information to women considering abortion.”
The latest figures cast serious doubt on the Government’s teenage sexual health strategy. Critics say the ‘safer sex’ approach is a clear disaster that is only getting worse.
But commenting on the new figures, Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: “Contraception plays a vital role in preventing teenage pregnancy and earlier this year I announced a further investment of £26.8 million to improve women’s access to contraception and help reduce the number of abortions, repeat abortions and teenage pregnancies.”