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Press release – Abortion numbers highest ever, following introduction of ‘DIY’ abortion scheme

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Abortion numbers highest ever, following introduction of ‘DIY’ abortion scheme

10 September 2020 – Abortion statistics released by the Department of Health and Social Care this morning show that 109,836 abortions were performed for English and Welsh residents in the 6 months between 1 January and 30 June 2020. This is 4,296 higher than the figure for the first six months of 2019, which was 105,540. 2019 saw the highest number of abortions ever recorded in England and Wales over a full year, at 200,608.

This significant rise in abortions coincides with the Government’s temporary measure allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions in the UK. Since ‘DIY’ home abortions were introduced, a number of significant problems have arisen. According to a leaked “urgent email” sent by a regional chief midwife at NHS England and NHS Improvement on the “escalating risks” of ‘DIY’ home abortions, two women have died after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills. 

The Government has announced that it will be launching a consultation on whether to end this temporary measure.

The 2020 interim figures show that: 

  • 109,836 abortions were performed for English and Welsh residents in the 6 months between 1 January and 30 June 2020. This is 4,296 higher than the first figure for the first six months of 2019, which was 105,540. 
    • This significant rise in abortions coincides with the temporary measures allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions in the UK. Since ‘DIY’ home abortions were introduced, a number of significant problems have arisen.
    • According to a leaked “urgent email” sent by a regional chief midwife at NHS England and NHS Improvement on the “escalating risks” of ‘DIY’ home abortions, two women have died after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.
    • The email leak also revealed police have opened a murder investigation into the death of a baby who they believe was born alive despite her mother taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills. 
    • A nationwide undercover investigation found evidence of abortion providers putting women at significant risk by not carrying out basic checks before sending them ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.
    • In May, it was revealed UK police were investigating the death of an unborn baby after their mother took ‘DIY’ home abortion pills while 28 weeks pregnant.
    • In addition, abortion provider BPAS announced that it was investigating a further eight cases of women taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills beyond the 10-week limit, raising questions over what checks are being conducted to ensure the law isn’t being broken and dangerous later-term abortions aren’t happening. 
    • A number of women have also come forward to share the serious problems they’ve experienced after taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills.

In response to the general figures, spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“It is a national tragedy that 109,836 lives were lost to abortion between January and June 2020. This is 4,296 higher than the figure for the first six months of 2019, which was 105,540. The year of 2019 saw the highest number of abortions ever recorded in England and Wales, at 200,608 over the full year.

“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. 

“This year we’ve come together as a nation and made great sacrifices to protect the vulnerable from Covid-19. Sadly, at the very same time as protecting one group of vulnerable people, we as society have also ended thousands of young vulnerable lives through abortion.

“This significant rise in abortions coincides with the temporary measures allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions in the UK. Since the UK Government permitted ‘DIY’ home abortions, stories of illegal late-term abortions and safety abuses have come to light.

“We, along with other pro-life campaigners, warned it was only a matter of time before a woman died as a result of a ‘DIY’ home abortion. Tragically, that has been the case with two women having their lives ended along with tens of thousands of babies losing their lives under the Government’s home abortion scheme.

“These cases and the thirteen ongoing investigations are likely only the tip of the iceberg, given the date of the leaked email.

“Abortion providers, such as BPAS and Marie Stopes International, who want to keep ‘DIY’ home abortions on a permanent basis, are unlikely to want to reveal how many complications or serious incidents have arisen as a result of their ‘services’.

“There are also likely many more incidents that abortion providers don’t know about as the majority of women are not likely to come back and tell an abortion provider that they have broken the law using their service or weren’t even aware how far along they were, given they have not had an ultrasound.

“These ‘DIY’ home abortion schemes should be suspended immediately.”

ENDS

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