210,000 pregnancies terminated in England and Wales last year

210,000 pregnancies terminated in England and Wales last year

Abortions in England and Wales last year were at their highest number since the 1967 Abortion Act was introduced. 

Of the 209,519 terminated pregnancies in the two countries in 2019, 207,384 were for women resident there, the Department of Health confirmed.

Both the total number and the number for women living in England and Wales have risen to the highest since the Act was brought in more than five decades ago. 

Most of the 2,135 women who came to England and Wales for abortions were from Northern Ireland (47.5 per cent) and the Republic of Ireland (17.6 per cent). 

The statistics show that while there has been an increase in the rates for all ages 25 and above, the largest is among women aged 30-34.

Rates in that age group rose from 15.7 per 1,000 in 2009 to 20.9 per 1,000 last year, the data released by the department on Thursday showed.

Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of abortions took place in the independent sector, but 99 per cent were funded by the NHS.

The Life group's director of advocacy Liz Parsons said she was 'shocked but sadly not surprised' to see the increase.

She added: 'At a unique time in our history when we are focusing all our energy on saving lives, we must never forget that abortion results in the loss of a life and last year nearly 210,000 unborn babies lost their lives to abortion.

'With our society raising life up with one hand and taking it away with the other, it is high time that we re-evaluate our priorities and start putting more energy into offering life affirming positive alternatives.'