Abortions up by more than 1,000 last year, figures show

The latest figures from the Department of Health show that there were 1,253 more abortions in 2015 than in the previous year.

The figures, for residents of England and Wales, reveal that there were 185,824 abortions last year, up from 184,571.

They also show that more than 200 babies were aborted after the 24-week limit, most of these on the grounds of disability.


The vast majority of abortions, 70 per cent, were among women who are married or have a partner, up from 48 per cent a decade ago.

The number of women over 35 who had an abortion was the highest on record, at 29,471.

The stats show that 230 babies were aborted at 24 weeks or older. More than 50 took place after 32 weeks – when the unborn child was at least seven months old.


Almost 700 babies were aborted because they had Down Syndrome and eleven because they had a cleft lip or palate.

The figures also record 16 abortions where a diagnosis was “not known”.

In Great Britain, the legal limit for abortion is 24 weeks, but if the child is disabled abortion is allowed up to term.

More than 500 girls under the age of 15 had an abortion last year including 79 who were younger than 14.

Choose Life

Clara Watson, of pro-life charity LIFE, said: “We are deeply saddened that there were 1,253 more abortions carried out on England and Wales residents in 2015 than in 2014. That’s 1,253 more babies who were not given the chance to live”.

“We are shocked that the abortion rate in this country is climbing, and that babies with disabilities are still being targeted and eliminated in particular.”

To read about women who chose not to abort and encourage others to do the same, visit our Choose Life page.

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