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50 years on and abortion numbers are worse than ever

Back in 2007, the architect of the Abortion Act (1967) Lord David Steel, admitted that he never anticipated “‘anything like’ the current number of terminations”. And yet the number of abortions is still increasing. In 2018, there were a shocking 200,608 abortions, the highest figure ever for residents of England and Wales, and there’s little reason to think this trend will reverse.

The figures show an almost continuous year on year rise of abortions in England and Wales from 1967 to 2018. The vested interests of the abortion lobby make a clear headed analysis of these figures extremely difficult. The head of tax-payer funded BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) Ann Furedi has stated that she wants to see abortion become available without legal restriction up to birth, and has been pushing British politicians to support something similar to Andrew Cuomo’s horrific New York Bill, which does exactly that. Furedi claims to be concerned with “choice” and yet British taxpayers have no choice when it comes to their taxes being used to pay for abortions performed by BPAS and Marie Stopes.

Repeat abortions have risen from 74,204 in 2017 to 78,998 in 2018, which means that over 39% of abortions were carried out on women who had at least one previous abortion. This gives credence to the claim that there may be a number of women in the UK who are using abortion as contraception, almost wholly funded by the taxpayer, costing the NHS an extra £1million a week. These repeat abortions show a failure to address the underlying reasons that a woman would seek to have an abortion in the first place. Repeat abortions indicate that each termination does not solve the problems that so many abortion advocates claim it does, or these women wouldn’t keep returning. Studies in Russia have demonstrated that alcohol consumption is clearly linked to repeat abortions and in Finland, where abortion analysis is of high quality, lack of educational opportunities are cited as an influencing factor.

The high number of abortions for disabilities (3,269), which can legally be offered up until birth, is also very concerning. Marie Stopes was an avid champion of eugenics and this eugenic tendency has clearly seeped into modern abortion practices. Women are increasingly reporting being harassed into having an abortion when their child may have a disability. Scottish mother Lauren Webster was repeatedly offered an abortion throughout her pregnancy as doctors believed her unborn son had a bladder obstruction and Edward’s Syndrome. Her son was born perfectly healthy. Natalie Halson was offered an abortion ten times up to her due date as her daughter, Mirabelle, was diagnosed with spina bifida and supposedly would have no “quality of life”. Her daughter will need to have surgery to repair her spine but has every prospect of a good quality of life thereafter. It is simply unacceptable that any pregnant mother should have to endure this type of bullying from the very people who are supposed to care for her and her preborn child. That is not healthcare. Real healthcare looks to save both lives.

The fact that private abortion providers have increased their share of termination numbers to 72% is concerning. These groups are fighting hard to see almost all current legal safeguards around abortion removed. Any further increases in abortion numbers that followed these changes would directly lead to increased revenue for these providers. Any doubt that abortion providers such as Marie Stopes are not money-motivated can be dispelled by examining their 2016 CQC report, which included reports of high-pressure sales tactics- a “cattle market” atmosphere in the clinics and staff being paid bonuses for abortion referrals. In 2011, Nadine Dorries tabled an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill to bring about independent counselling for women seeking abortions but this failed, due to pressure from disgruntled abortion providers. The sales tactics used by Marie Stopes abortion clinics are well-explained in the document produced by Right to Know. British journalist, Caroline Farrow, revealed that pressure was applied to her by Marie Stopes staff when she had cancelled an abortion appointment in 2003, only to be phoned a week later to be offered another one.

Pro-lifers must be aware of and must use this data. This includes lobbying politicians and demanding that they get off the fence and commit to pro-life change. The first step is to get them to admit that the abortion rate is alarmingly high. MPs need to commit to addressing this figure and what they are going to do about it. If they want votes, they need to face these issues head-on. The time for complacency is over.

All opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Right To Life UK.