Repeat abortions reach record high in latest stats

More than a third of abortions carried out in England and Wales were for women who have previously had a termination, official statistics show.

And 33 women were found to have had at least their ninth abortion, according to Department of Health figures from 2012.

A record 37 per cent of all abortions were repeat procedures in 2012, amounting to 66,000 in total.


The figures also found there were 89 girls under the age of 16 who have had more than one abortion.

Pro-life campaigners said it is a “tragedy” that abortion has been normalised.

Anne Scanlan, spokeswoman for pro-life charity LIFE said: “These statistics strongly suggest that abortion is no longer being seen as a last resort in uniquely difficult situations, but something much more routine.”


Of the women who were willing to give relationship details, 50 per cent of abortions were carried out on unmarried women who were living with their partner.

Lord Steele, who introduced the Bill that legalised abortion in Britain in 1967, asked the Government if there was a problem with repeat abortions in the House of Lords last month.

He 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.”


Pro-life campaigner Josephine Quintavalle says the legalisation of abortion was always going to lead to abortion on demand.

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

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, commented on the statistics: “Women who experience more than one unwanted pregnancies often do so in very different circumstances – as a teenager, maybe again in their 20s when they can’t afford a child, or it can be an unexpected pregnancy in their 40s, when they thought their fertile days were over.”

She added: “All these figures really show is that women find abortion acceptable and available.”

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