Record-high number of abortions in 2021

Record-high number of abortions in 2021

Abortion statistics released by the Department for Health and Social Care yesterday show the highest number of abortions ever recorded in England and Wales, with 214,869 taking place in 2021, an increase of 4,009 from 2020.

This significant rise in abortions has accompanied the first full year that ‘DIY’ home abortion services have been operating in England and Wales. Since ‘DIY’ home abortions were introduced, a number of significant problems have arisen. 

Polling shows a large majority of women in the UK support a number of changes to abortion laws that would have a positive impact on lowering the number of abortions. The polling shows that 70% of women want the current time limit on abortion to be lowered and 91% of women want a ban on sex-selective abortion.

The statistics show a rise in repeat abortions from 87,926 in 2020 up to 91,313 in 2021. This represents 3,387 more repeat abortions than in 2020, an increase of 3.85%.

The figures also showed that 88 ‘selective termination’ procedures were performed, where a twin, triplet or more were aborted in the womb. This represents a 35.38% increase from 2020. 

There was a 9.31% increase in the number of disability-selective abortions from 3,083 in 2020 to 3,370.

274 disability-selective abortions were performed at 24 weeks and over, a 19.65% increase compared to 2020 when 274 abortions were performed on babies with disabilities.

859 babies with Down’s syndrome were aborted in 2021, an increase of 23.95% from 693 in 2020. There was also a 71.43% increase in late-term abortions at 24 weeks and over where a baby had Down’s syndrome from 14 in 2020 to 24 in 2021.

The statistics also showed that there were 40 abortions where the baby had cleft lip or cleft palate, an increase of 135.29% from 2019. There was also a 100% increase in late-term abortions at 24 weeks and over where a baby had cleft lip or cleft palate from 3 in 2020 to 6 in 2021. 

Sadly, the figures for cleft lip and palate are likely to be higher due to underreporting. A 2013 review by Eurocat showed 157 babies were aborted with cleft lip and palate in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. However, the Department of Health & Social Care (DoHSC) recorded only 14 such abortions.

The Department of Health and Social Care also reported that the number of abortions funded by the NHS performed by private abortion providers reached a record high of 165,400. This represents a 282.29% increase since 1999 when there were 43,266 abortions performed by private providers.