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

Newly released data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show almost 1 in 4 of all pregnancies* ended in abortion.

There were 657,076 live births in England and Wales in 2018 according to the ONS, and 205,295 abortions over the same time period according to the Department of Health. Combining these two figures gives the total number of pregnancies* in England and Wales in 2018 of 862,371.

Therefore, 23.8% of all pregnancies* (almost one in four) in England and Wales ended in abortion. In 2012, however, 20.7% of all pregnancies ended in abortion*. The 2018 figure therefore represents an increase from approximately 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in abortion to almost 1 in 4 ending in abortion.

Compared with 1969 – the first year with complete figures for total number of abortions – where there were 54,819 abortions, there has been a 270% increase in the proportion of the total number of pregnancies ending in abortion in England and Wales.

In 2018, in Northern Ireland, there were 1,097 abortions (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.

However, the British Parliament in Westminster has voted to force abortion on Northern Ireland unless Stormont is able to reconvene by the 21st October. The new extreme abortion regime would permit abortion up to 28 weeks gestation for any reason, and it is likely that within a few years, the proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion in Northern Ireland will be similar to England and Wales.

Catherine Robinson, spokesperson for Right to Life UK, 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.”

* excluding natural miscarriage and still birth

(Image credit AdobeStock: Cari)

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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