Father of abortion, Lord Steel, admits concern

Lord Steel, who introduced the Bill which legalised abortion in Britain in 1967, says he is concerned that repeat abortions are being used as a form of contraception.

Repeat abortions represented over one third (36 per cent) of all abortions in 2011, and that proportion is higher than the previous year.

But pro-abortionist Ann Furedi says it is difficult for younger women to control their fertility, so repeat abortions may be necessary.


And she says it is impossible to be a modern woman without the option of access to abortion.

Pro-lifer Josephine Quintavalle says the legalisation of abortion in 1967 was always going to lead to abortion on demand.

She says Lord Steel needs to “face the reality” of abortion provision in this country.


Lord Steel raised the issue in the House of Lords, asking the Government whether there is a problem with repeat abortions.

Earl Howe replied: “The abortion rate across England and Wales has been static since 2009.

“The good news is that the abortion rate for women under 18 has gone down. There was a 9.6 per cent decrease in the rate between 2010 and 2011.


“On repeat abortions, the news is not so good. The proportion of repeat abortions for women who had abortions in 2011 was 36 per cent. The figure was higher than it had been the previous year, which is a matter for concern.”

Lord Steel told the Daily Mail: “It is odd that so many women present for repeat abortions, some more than twice, which does suggest they are treating abortion as contraception. This was never the purpose of the 1967 reform.”

Josephine Quintavalle, of the Pro-Life Alliance, said: “David Steel needs to face the reality of the provision of abortion in this country, that it is not just being provided for women in dramatic need but is available on demand.


“It was verging on the ingenuous of him to imagine when he brought forward his legislation in 1967 that abortion wouldn’t end up being available on demand.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of abortion provider BPAS, said: “It is unfair to women and wrong for politicians to assume that women can live a modern life and not have the option of accessing abortion services.”

She said repeat terminations happen because “Women in their teens and their 20s are often very fertile and find it difficult to manage their fertility by contraception alone”.

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