Pregnant women considering an abortion are being failed, campaigners say, in response to new figures revealing over 13,000 abortions took place in Scotland last year.
The statistics showed that women in deprived areas were twice as likely to end the life of their unborn child compared to women in richer areas.
Nearly 30 per cent of medical abortions took place at home, according to the figures, but fewer than ten women came from Northern Ireland to Scotland to take up the offer of a free abortion.
The Life charity asked: “What compassionate society says to a pregnant woman in crisis that the only way out of her crisis is to end the life of her baby?”
And the Right To Life organisation said each abortion “is a tragedy representing the ending of a life”.
Commenting on the unborn babies aborted because of a Down’s syndrome diagnosis, the Don’t Screen Us Out group said the situation was “deeply concerning”.
The figures came from the Information Services Division of the NHS and cover the whole of 2018.
A total of 13,286 abortions took place in Scotland – the highest in ten years.
The report’s authors were unable to give a reason for the rise.
Also revealed by the statistics:
• Abortion rates were twice as high for women in the “most deprived areas”. This was 17.8 per 1,000 women in the poorest area, compared to 8.9 per 1,000 women in the least deprived area.
• Just under 30 per cent of medical abortions took place in the home, following the 2017 decision to allow such actions.
• Over 30 abortions were carried out on the grounds of Down’s syndrome last year.
Despite the Scottish Government offering Northern Irish women free abortions from 2017, fewer than ten women have taken up the offer.
Northern Ireland protects women and unborn children by allowing abortion in far fewer circumstances than Great Britain.
Right To Life UK’s Clare McCarthy said: “The stark lack of support the Government has in place for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy is likely a large contributing factor to the upwards trend in abortions.
“Rather than providing support to keep a child, it often leaves women seeking abortion as an answer.”