Abortions spiked by up to 30% during first wave of Covid in England and Wales

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Abortions spiked by up to 30% during first wave of Covid in England and Wales

The number of abortions in England and Wales spiked by almost 30 per cent at the peak of the first wave, official figures have revealed.

Charities said more pregnant women were seeking terminations because of anxiety over providing for existing children and the financial strain of the pandemic.

The surge in numbers saw 20,546 terminations carried out in England and Wales in April last year, compared to 16,006 in the same month a year earlier.

It came as ministers for the first time gave permission for women to have abortions at home without medical supervision, something deemed necessary because it was difficult to get doctors' appointments during the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokesman for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) said they had seen a 'significant increase' in requests for help from women who were already mothers during the pandemic.

Between April and June last year, two thirds of women getting abortions already had children, compared to only slightly over half in the same period in 2019. 

The figures also showed 86 per cent of abortions were carried out within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, and 50 per cent within the first seven weeks.

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