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55 years of abortion: 10,135,618 lives lost since 1967

Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Abortion Act coming into effect in 1968 – 6 months after it received Royal Assent.  

Since then, a staggering 10,135,618* unborn babies have lost their lives to abortion across England, Wales, and Scotland — in 2021, more than one baby was lost to abortion every two and a half minutes; 26 lives were ended every hour.

The number of abortions in England and Wales has reached a record high with 214,869 taking place in 2021, while 13,758 terminations were performed in Scotland in the same year.

This significant rise in abortions in England and Wales 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.

Abortion statistics released by the Department of Health and Social Care show that in England and Wales, there was a total of 214,869 abortions in 2021, an increase of 4,009 abortions from 2020 when there were 210,860 abortions. This is the highest ever number on record.

Who would the ten million be today?

At 11.41am on Friday 23 September 2022, it was projected that the ten millionth baby had their life ended by abortion since the Abortion Act came into effect in England, Scotland and Wales on 27 April 1968.

Right To Life UK released a video titled The Ten Million to commemorate the ten million people who had their lives ended through abortion and to attempt to illustrate what the UK has lost through the death of these millions of people.

The video began by asking the question “Had these 10 million babies been born, who would they be today?” before proceeding to outline:

  • About 500,000 of them would be in their 50s by now.
  • There would be nearly 2,000,000 each in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
  • 1,500,000 would now be teenagers.
  • Nearly 2,000,000 would be children.
  • 800,000 would currently be babies and toddlers.
  • 5,000,000 would be women or girls, sisters, daughters, aunts, mothers and grandmas. Some of their most common names would be Emily, Jenny, Sarah, Emma and Olivia.
  • Of the men and boys, the most common names would be Mike, Chris, Matt, Jake and Josh.
  • About 3,300,000 would love Marmite, about 3,300,000 would hate it, and the remainder wouldn’t have minded either way.
  • There would have been 2,900,000 more weddings and millions more couples would be in love.

“The greatest shame of our nation”

Speaking at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act in 2017, Lord Alton lamented the lives that have been lost to abortion since the introduction of the Act. 

He pointed out that the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which the UK is a signatory, guarantees the right to life. He asked “what use are all the other human rights contained in that declaration, if you are denied the right to life in the first place”. 

“The fact that we neuter the protection of our laws for our tiniest countrymen and countrywomen is a horror and a disgrace on a massive scale.”

He then went on to talk about the millions of taxpayer pounds that funded abortion overseas in developing countries in the form of foreign aid, an act that activists in these countries consider a form of ‘neo-colonialism’.

He went on to warn about the push towards decriminalisation, led by the abortion lobby and activist politicians, which would result in “abortion-on-demand, for any reason, in all circumstances, up to birth”.  

He urged people not to lose hope in the face of entrenched opposition. “As those who recognise and champion human dignity, it is our role and our duty to stand for every silenced voice”.

“[W]e are not going away we are not going to remain quiet whilst injustice occurs and we are not going to stop working and educating and campaigning and fighting till we live in a society where the humanity, the dignity and rights of every member of our nation are together recognised”.

Polling shows overwhelming support for more protections for unborn children

Opinion polls repeatedly show that the public want increased protections for unborn babies and the more support for mothers facing unplanned pregnancies – rather than the wholesale removal of legal safeguards around abortion.

A Savanta ComRes poll showed that only 1% support the radical pro-choice campaign to introduce abortion up to birth. The vast majority of the general public supported more stringent protections for the unborn. 

89% of the general population and 91% of women agree that gender-selective abortion should be explicitly banned by the law. 

60% of the general population and 70% of women believe that the current 24-week gestational limit for abortion should be reduced. 

93% of women agree that a woman considering abortion should have a legal right to independent counselling from a source that has no financial interest in her decision.

65% of the general population oppose taxpayer money going to fund abortions overseas.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said “The UK’s abortion law is failing both women and unborn babies. It is a national tragedy that 10,135,618 lives have been lost since the 1967 Abortion Act came into effect, each one a unique and valuable human being who was denied the right to life”.

“Every one of these abortions represents a collective failure of our society to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies”.

“While we may pause to commemorate this tragedy, this day also serves as a call to action for people around the country to renew their efforts to do everything they can to help ensure more lives are saved from abortion in the future”. 

“This includes contacting MPs and asking them to ensure that protections for unborn babies are introduced and safeguards are strengthened to protect both mothers and babies – along with volunteering with pregnancy support centres and undertaking other pro-life activities that support mothers and their children in pregnancy and beyond”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.