Abortion numbers look likely to set new record

With the number of women having abortions in England and Wales already past the 200,000 mark, new figures show the situation is getting worse.

Numbers revealed yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the annual total is set to continue rising, with 105,000 abortions already recorded in the first six months of 2008.

This, along with news that repeat abortions are on the increase, is fuelling concern that many women are using abortion as a form of contraception.

Listen to a Christian Institute spokesman debate the issue on BBC Radio

ONS figures show there were 205,600 abortions in England and Wales in 2007.

Britain currently holds the highest termination rates in Western Europe and if current trends in growth continue it could bypass the United States, which currently tops the global list, within a decade.

Tory MP, Nadine Dorries, said: “Abortion is wrongly seen as an early and trouble-free way of ending a pregnancy.

“It has moved from a resource that women turn to in an emergency and a point of crisis to becoming a form of contraception.”

She added: “This has been brought about as a result of an ill-conceived notion that it is just a minor procedure with no side or lasting effects, but this is not the case.”

The new abortion figures for England and Wales come just months after Parliament failed to tighten the law on abortion by reducing the abortion time limit from 24 weeks.

The decision to keep the upper limit unchanged was taken even though public opinion showed that 73 per cent of women supported reducing the limit to 20 weeks.

Earlier this week pro-abortion group FPA (formerly the Family Planning Association) launched a video for schools which tells teenage girls it is their ‘right’ to have an abortion.

The promotional materials tell teenagers that warnings about the negative consequences of abortion are just ‘myths’, even though there is extensive evidence to show the damaging effects of abortion on women.

In March this year, The Royal College of Psychiatrists said that having an abortion can damage a woman’s mental health and women should be told the risks before proceeding.

As the Government struggles to reach its targets for cutting teenage pregnancy, plans are being made to establish more “school-based contraception clinics”.

The Government wants more girls – some as young as 13 – to be given long-acting contraception jabs to help fulfil its promise to halve 1998’s teenage pregnancy rates by 2010.

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