Scotland reports record number of abortions

The number of abortions in Scotland has reached an unprecedented level, new data has revealed.

Latest statistics published by Public Health Scotland showed there were 18,207 abortions last year, the highest figure on record.

Almost all abortions carried out before 24 weeks gestation were for ‘social reasons’.

Pills by post

The majority of abortions – 98.1 per cent – were chemically induced, a method which involves taking two pills. The first, mifepristone, prevents the baby’s development, while the second, misoprostol, induces a miscarriage.

In total, 57.6 per cent (10,496) of chemical abortions involved a pregnant woman taking both pills at home after just a phone or video consultation with a doctor or nurse.

Since emergency coronavirus legislation was introduced in March 2020, women in Scotland have been allowed to have an unsupervised DIY abortion within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

The statistics also show that 285 babies deemed to have a disability were also aborted during 2023, including 48 with Down’s syndrome.

Censorship zones

Earlier this month, the Scottish Parliament voted through legislation banning pro-life witness outside abortion centres.

The law prohibits behaviour that seeks to “influence the decision of another person to access, provide or facilitate” an abortion.

It also criminalises any individual deemed to ‘prevent or impede’, or cause “harassment, alarm or distress” to someone in relation to their “decision to access, provide or facilitate” an abortion.

A person convicted of an offence under the Act could face an unlimited fine.

Also see:

Abortion figures continue to rise in England and Wales

Amnesty International: ‘Conscientious objection to abortion unacceptable’

Fined for standing in abortion censorship zone

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