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Press release – 54th anniversary of Abortion Act receiving royal assent

Press release - 55th anniversary of Abortion Act receiving Royal Assent


54 years of abortion: 9,789,238 lives lost since 1967

Today marks the 54th anniversary of the Abortion Act receiving royal assent.  

Since then, a staggering 9,789,238* unborn babies have lost their lives to abortion across England, Wales and Scotland — in 2020, more than one baby was lost to abortion every two and a half minutes; 25 lives were ended every hour.

Over 1 in 4 (25.2%) pregnancies in England and Wales now end in abortion, according to the most recent Government statistics

The number of abortions in England and Wales reached a record high with 210,860 taking place in 2020, while the number of terminations performed in Scotland was the second-highest on record at 13,815.

This significant rise in abortions has accompanied Governments introducing a temporary measure in March 2020 allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions in England and Wales, and Scotland. 

New and radical abortion legislation in Northern Ireland, imposed upon the region by the Government in Westminster, allows sex-selective abortion, de facto abortion on demand up to 24 weeks and disability-selective abortion right up to birth – including for Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

In July, it was revealed that 1,624 terminations have already taken place under the new regime, despite the fact that the Northern Ireland Department of Health has not officially commissioned abortion ‘services’.

The number of abortions taking place in Northern Ireland is now set to increase, with the Conservative Government announcing that it has introduced regulations to Parliament that will give the Northern Ireland Secretary new powers to enable him to force Stormont to expand abortion access across Northern Ireland, through the commissioning of abortion services. 

Abortion statistics released by the Department of Health and Social Care show that 209,917 abortions were performed for English and Welsh residents in 2020.

This is 2,533 more than in 2019, which was until now the highest number on record. 

Opinion polls repeatedly show that the public wants increased protections for unborn babies and the number of abortions reduced – rather than the wholesale removal of legal safeguards around abortion.

Only 1% of the UK population want abortion to be available up to birth and over 70% of women want the abortion limit to be reduced to 20 weeks or lower.

Only 21% of the population support the introduction of nationwide ‘censorship zones’ around abortion clinics.

Polling from 2019 revealed that over 41% of Londoners believe abortion should be illegal in almost all circumstances.

Polling also revealed that two-thirds of women and 70% of 18-34-year-olds in Northern Ireland did not want Europe’s most extreme abortion law imposed on the province by Westminster

A recent consultation on whether to allow ‘DIY’ home abortions permanently in Scotland, revealed that only 17% of submissions supported this change.

A 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 9,789,238 lives have been lost since the 1967 Abortion Act received royal assent, each one a valuable human being who was denied the right to life”.

“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”.

“We are always looking at how we can save more lives by ensuring that protections for unborn babies are introduced and safeguards are strengthened to protect both mothers and babies”. 


*This figure is a projection for England, Wales and Scotland through to midnight on 27/10/21 and has been calculated based on the following assumptions:

  • The number of abortions per day in England and Wales will remain the same in 2021 as in 2020.
  • The number of abortions per day in Scotland will remain the same in 2021 as in 2020.
  • The rate of abortions throughout the year is evenly distributed.
  • Please note, we have not included data for abortions that have occurred in Northern Ireland since 2020 because it has not been made clear on which day abortions began being performed in Northern Ireland and it is therefore unreliable to model a projection for the remainder of the year using this.
  • For additional quotes and media interviews contact or 07774 483658.
  • For further information on Right To Life UK visit