The Christian Institute

News Release

ABORTION DEBATE: Office for National Statistics Study-‘50% of London babies conceived outside marriage are aborted’

The Christian Institute today called for Parliament to look again at Abortion legislation following its analysis of the latest Government statistics.

An obscure academic paper in the Government’s Population Trends (Summer 1996 number 84) entitled ‘Subnational variations in conceptions’ is now being studied by experts. The study shows that for married couples only 8% of pregnancies are aborted, but for unmarried couples the figure is 33%.

In inner London 50% of babies conceived outside of marriage are aborted. The figures are not that different in the much more prosperous Greater London area where the corresponding figure is 44%.

For the first time the government study shows a league table for the abortion rates in different areas using the new ONS classification.

Most properous areas have high abortion rate

Colin Hart, Director of the Christian Institute said today

“Government league tables clearly show that areas of high unemployment such as the coalfields have lower abortion rates than the most prosperous parts of England and Wales. The figures give the lie to the claim that abortions are only performed in extreme circumstances. The figures make clear that cohabitation and single parenthood can be literally lethal for unborn babies. In London, children conceived outside of marriage will soon be more likely to be aborted than to be born. “

Pamela Sims, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at both Hexham and Newcastle General Hospitals said today:-

“The abortion legislation gives practically unfettered freedom for doctors to agree to the destruction of unborn human life. The overwhelming majority of abortions are done for the flimsiest of reasons”

Colin Hart continued

“Britain’s alarming abortion rate is simply due to the cavalier way in which doctors, particularly in London, have interpreted the Abortion Act. Out of 156,539 abortions in England and Wales performed in 1994 only 147 were because the mother’s life was in danger, and in only 1,796 cases was there a risk that the child would be born handicapped. In 2% of cases was there a grave risk of permanent injury to the mental or physical health of the mother. All these cases leave 97% of abortions being performed for social reasons. “

Table based on ONS Population Trends Summer 1996 no. 84 (page 25)

Area group

ONS Classification

Percentage of all conceptions leading to maternities (1993)

Percentage of all conceptions aborted


England and Wales

  1. 0.8
  2. 9.2

Coast and country

  1. 4.1
  2. 5.9

Mixed urban & rural

  1. 3.3
  2. 6.7

Growth areas

  1. 3.5
  2. 6.5

Most prosperous

  1. 1.4
  2. 8.6

Services and education (covering most of Greater London)

  1. 3.7
  2. 6.3

Resort and retirement

  1. 2.2
  2. 7.8

Mixed economies

  1. 2.3
  2. 7.7


  1. 1.7
  2. 8.3

Ports and industry

  1. 0.5
  2. 9.5


  1. 3.7
  2. 6.3

Inner London

  1. 4.9
  2. 5.1

(ONS figures exclude miscarriages and illegal abortions.)