Caution as abortions for over-30s rise sharply

Abortions for women in their early 30s have risen by 10 per cent between 2009 and last year – with career ambitions contributing to the rise.

The current financial crisis, and the availability of IVF later in life, have also been blamed for the increase.

The Department of Health figures show over 29,000 women aged between 30 and 34 had an abortion in 2011. Almost half of them had previously had an abortion.


Mark Bhagwandin from pro-life charity LIFE said the figures suggested the women were having abortions without appreciating the potential long-term psychological implications.

In 2009 26,701 women in England and Wales aged 30-34 had an abortion, and this figure rose to 29,579 in 2011.

Dr Peter Saunders, chief executive of Christian Medical Fellowship, which represents 4,000 doctors, warned: “Women often choose abortion because they are not offered support to pursue any other alternative.”

Abortion group Marie Stopes claimed the figures may be linked to the economic climate, saying if women “have an unplanned pregnancy at a certain stage in their career, or have just embarked on a mortgage and can’t afford maternity leave, they may consider termination”.


The abortion figures, which were released last month, also reveal more women are having repeat abortions.

There was also a small rise in the total number of abortions in 2011, up to 189,931 from 189,574 in 2010.

At the time of their release, Michaela Aston, from LIFE, said our society was “failing to cultivate respectful attitudes to life, and failing to promote positive and responsible attitudes to motherhood, family life and sexual relationships”.

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