Abortions reach five-year high in Scotland

Statistics showing a five-year high for the number of abortions in Scotland have been described as “deeply alarming”.

There were 12,212 abortions in 2017, 106 more than the year before.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) in Scotland said it showed “a rising trend that indicates a failure to provide the support women need in pregnancy”.

Rushed policy

Figures revealed that abortion rates in the most deprived areas were twice that of more affluent areas.

Women aged 20-24 accounted for more abortions than any other age group at 28.6 per cent of the total.

Since October, women in Scotland have been able to have ‘DIY’ abortions at home after a change in policy rushed through by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood.

The figures revealed that 58 women did so, with most taking place in the NHS Lothian area.

Legal challenge

SPUC Scotland said: “Such terminations are both physically and mentally dangerous to expectant mothers and a tragic new dimension to our abortion culture.”

Medical abortions involve taking two tablets – mifepristone, which detaches the developing baby from the lining of the womb, and misoprostol which induces a miscarriage.

Last month, SPUC started legal action against the Scottish Government for the change in policy, with a judicial review in Edinburgh’s Court of Session.

The challenge is on the grounds that the 1967 Abortion Act contains specific rules for approved places where abortions can take place and “was not intended to allow abortions to take place at home”.

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