Number of abortions in England and Wales reaches record levels | abortion

The number of abortions in England and Wales has reached record levels and financial pressures are believed to be a factor in why women decide not to have a baby.

There were 251,377 abortions among women resident in the two nations in 2022, official figures from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) show, which is the highest figure since the Abortion Act was introduced almost 60 years ago and an increase in 17% compared to the previous year. the 2021 figure.

Abortion provider MSI Reproductive Choices said it believes the cost of living crisis combined with lack of access to contraceptives through NHS services are “playing a larger role” in abortion decisions.

Experts say another factor was better access to home abortions. Temporary measures implemented during the pandemic approving the use of early medical abortion pills at home, without first attending a hospital or clinic, were made permanent in England and Wales in 2022.

Taking medication at home was the most common procedure and accounted for 61% of all abortions in 2022, up nine percentage points from 2021, the DHSC said.

The 25-29 age group had the largest increase in abortion rates between 2012 and the latest figures for 2022, rising from 21.8 per 1,000 women to 31.4 per 1,000.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said a survey of 1,300 women this month suggested that financial factors had mainly or partially affected the decision to terminate a pregnancy for 57%, while 36% said they had not. been able to obtain the contraceptives they wanted or had faced delays that had led to unwanted pregnancies and subsequent abortions.

Heidi Stewart, chief executive of Bpas, said: “The cost of living crisis has put immense pressure on women and families, with many having to choose between financial stability and having a baby.

“These women have also told us that they face long waits for contraceptive appointments, are denied specific contraceptive methods by healthcare professionals, and experience limited options for non-hormonal birth control.”

Sarah Salkeld, associate clinical director at MSI Reproductive Choices in the UK, said women are able to access care early in their pregnancy “largely due to the option of having an abortion in the privacy and comfort of their own home through of the telemedicine service.”

Anti-abortion group Right To Life UK described the overall figures as a “national tragedy” and called for “the urgent reinstatement of in-person appointments”.

skip past newsletter promotion

Leave a Comment