Press release – Nearly 1 in 4 babies in England and Wales were aborted in 2018


Nearly 1 in 4 babies in England and Wales were aborted in 2018

02 August 2019 – Live births for 2018 in England and Wales released by the Office of National Statistics show that of a total of 862,371 pregnancies (excluding stillbirths and natural miscarriages) there were 657,076 live births, and 205,295 abortions.

This represents 23.8% of pregnancies (excluding stillbirths and natural miscarriages) or a ratio of close to one baby aborted for every three that are born. This is up from 20.7% in 2012 (excluding stillbirths and natural miscarriages) which represented a ratio of close to one baby aborted for every four babies that were born.

This compares to Northern Ireland, where 4.7% of pregnancies ended in abortion (including abortions that occurred in Northern Ireland and women that travelled to England and Wales). This figure represents less than 1 in 20 pregnancies (excluding stillbirths and natural miscarriages) ending in abortion in Northern Ireland.

The figures show that: 

  • In England and Wales, almost one in four pregnancies* (23.8%) in 2018 ended in abortion.
    • There were a total of 657,076 live births in 2018, a decrease of 22,030 live births from 2017.
    • There were a total of 205,295 abortions, an increase of 7,762 from 2017.
  • 2018 had the highest proportion on of abortions to live births for every year since 1969 (the first year complete records are availble), except for 2001, which had 23.9% of all pregnancies ending in abortion.
  • In 1969, 6.4% of all pregnancies* ended in abortion, in 2018, 23.8% of all pregnancies* ended in abortion.
    • This represents a 270% increase in the proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion in England and Wales since 1969.
  • In Northern Ireland in 2018 there were 22,833 live births, and 1065 abortions from residents of Northern Ireland (including women who travelled to England and Wales and those who had legal abortions in NI)
    • 4.7% of all pregnancies* ended in abortion.

A spokesperson for Right to Life, Catherine Robinson said:

“It is a national tragedy that almost 1 in 4 pregnancies (excluding still births and natural miscarriage) in England and Wales ended in abortion in 2018. This represents one of the highest proportions of abortions to live births since abortion was introduced in 1967 – the only year with a higher proportion was 2001 where 23.9% of all pregnancies ended in abortion.”

“Every one of these abortions represents a 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.”

“On the other hand, these figures show the dramatic difference that laws surrounding abortion make. In 2018, for women resident in Northern Ireland, less than 1 in 20 of all pregnancies* ended in abortion (including the women who travelled to England and Wales for abortions), whereas in England and Wales, almost 1 in 4 of all pregnancies ended in abortion*.”

“If the new abortion regime that Westminster is imposing on Northern Ireland comes into force on the 21st October, there will likely be a rapid increase in the number of pregnancies ending in abortion in Northern Ireland. This will likely be made worse by the fact the law being introduced is so extreme – permitting abortion up to 28 weeks with no legal safeguards.

“Questions must be asked about why an increasing proportion of pregnant women are ending their pregnancies via abortion.”

“Proposals from abortion campaigners to remove legal restrictions around abortion and introduce abortion up to birth would likely see these numbers get even worse. The only winners in this sad state of affairs are abortion providers who can capitalise on this situation, and perhaps, are even part of the cause of it, insofar as they want ever more abortions to increase their income.”

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

“We are calling on the Government to urgently bring forward sensible new restrictions and increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies. This would ensure we were working together as a society to reduce the tragic number of abortions that happen each year.

“This increase in abortions comes as private abortion clinics have been accused by the Care Quality Commission of paying staff bonuses for persuading women to undergo abortions. 

“Vulnerable women should not be seen as a revenue opportunity but sadly we know this is not the reality as abortion itself is a multi-million pound industry. Private abortion clinics have a vested monetary interest in increasing the numbers of abortions they perform every year.”

*  Excluding natural miscarriage and still birth


Press Comment: Right To Life UK welcomes plans to extend redundancy protection period for new mothers

Following evidence that suggests that new mothers are still being unfairly forced out of work, the Government has revealed new plans to extend the redundancy protection period by a further 6 months. 

The Government also announced further details about establishing a taskforce to make recommendations on improvements on how to increase awareness amongst pregnant women and new mothers of their maternity rights.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Clare McCarthy said:

“This announcement is good news for new mothers as no one should be made to feel that their job is in jeopardy, just because they are pregnant or recently gave birth. Therefore it is encouraging to see these workplace protections being put in place in Government policy.

“We want to see the Government continuing to make these pro-women changes in policy to better support mothers and their babies. 


Press Release: Overwhelming majority of public reject radical changes to abortions laws in England and Wales

22 July Polling from two separate ComRes polls reveals that proposals from abortion lobby groups for extreme changes to the abortion law in England and Wales are out of line with public opinion with the majority of people wanting more, not less, safeguards around abortion. 

Pro-abortion lobby groups are currently campaigning to remove almost all of the current legal safeguards around abortion provision in England and Wales.

However, polling shows that 72% of the public agree that the practice of abortion should be governed by the law and 67% agree that criminal law plays an essential role in protecting patients against medical malpractice.

Proposed changes to the abortion law by the abortion lobby would seek to remove abortion from the supervision of doctors. This is strongly opposed by the public with polling showing that 85% agree that patients who are at serious risk of heavy bleeding due to a medical procedure or powerful drug should have medical supervision, in person, from a doctor. 

Furthermore, medical studies have shown that taking abortion pills to procure a medical abortion comes with specific safety issues and higher complication rates than surgical abortions. A Finnish study found the incidence of complications after medical abortion was four times higher than surgical – 20% compared to 5.6%. Government figures for England and Wales show complications involving hospitalisation are more than twice as likely after medical abortions when compared to surgical abortions, 206 per 1,000 abortions for medical compared to 88 for surgical. 

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy said:

“The abortion lobby’s proposals are wildly out of step with public opinion on this issue with polling actually showing support for more restrictions on the current abortion law in England and Wales, not less. In fact, 70% of women polled believe that the current 24-week gestational limit for abortion should be reduced. In Britain, in most cases abortions can be performed until 24 weeks, far beyond the EU median of 12 weeks.

“If the abortion lobby’s proposals were to become law, it would bring about one of the world’s most extreme abortion laws in the UK. Such a radical change in the law is being pushed by small minority of pro-abortion lobby groups but is unwanted by the rest of the UK. 


Press Release: FOI reveals BBC grossly exaggerated number of women directly ordering abortion pills from overseas websites

23 July – Data released today as a result of a Freedom Of Information request shows that the BBC grossly exaggerated the actual numbers of women in the UK who have ordered illegal abortion pills online from overseas.

The data obtained from a Freedom of Information Request to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency showed that between 2013 and 2016 only 6 parcels containing abortion pills were seized at the border.

BBC coverage disclosed the total number of abortion pills that have been seized each year since 2013, but did not disclose that only one or two parcels of abortion pills had actually been seized each year.

The BBC coverage implied that large numbers of individual women were directly ordering abortion pills from websites overseas, implying that there had been an increased demand from individual women for illegal abortion pills.

The Freedom of Information request released today shows that instead a couple of individuals had ordered parcels containing abortion pills.

The data has been released as abortion campaigners seek to use alleged demand from women for illegal online abortion pills as a rationale for introducing a new radical abortion law to England and Wales.

Operation Pangea seizures of abortion pills

Number of abortion pills seized:5180270375
Actual number of parcels (not reported by BBC):1122

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy said:

“It is very disappointing that the BBC have misled the public around this. They appear to have mislead the public by omitting the vital point in their reporting that only one or two parcels a year had actually been seized, rather than hundreds. 

Anyone who read the original coverage on this would have been lead to believe that 100s of individual women were ordering abortion pills online from overseas providers. The data released today shows that this likely not the case at all.

In fact, only a very small number of parcels had been imported by either a couple of individuals or possibly by abortion campaigners to make it appear that there was a very high demand from individual women. The BBC have selectively reported this misleading figure, leading the public to believe there was much higher demand from individual women for abortion pills from online overseas providers than is likely actually the case.

We are calling on the BBC to correct all the coverage they have given this issue and publicly commit to balanced reporting on this issue in the future.”


  • For additional quotes and media interviews contact 07847 454108 or email 
  • For further information on Right To Life visit
  • The table provided as a result of the Freedom of Information request is included below: