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Press release: Scottish abortion numbers and repeat abortions hit ten-year high


Scottish abortion numbers and repeat abortions hit ten-year high

28 May 2019Abortion statistics released by NHS Scotland Information Services Division show that Scottish abortion numbers hit a ten year high in 2018.

The figures show that there were 13,286 abortions in 2018, an increase of 843 from 2017 when there were 12,443 abortions.

The abortion statistics for 2018 also show a sharp rise in repeat abortions from 3,942 in 2017 up to 4,385 in 2018. This represented 443 more repeat abortions, an 11.24% increase over 2017 – the sharpest year-on-year increase in repeat abortions in the last 10 years and the highest number of repeat abortions in the last 10 years. In total, 33% of abortions in 2018 were repeat abortions.

The number of abortions for under-16-year-olds also saw an increase from 107 to 111.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy has said:

“Sadly and shockingly, the number of abortions taking place in Scotland has reached the highest number in a decade. This coincides with the introduction of the second abortion pill in a medical abortion being taken out of clinical settings, which accounted for nearly 30% of medical abortions in 2018.

Every one of these 13,286 abortions is a tragedy representing the ending of a life and it is saddening to see even higher numbers of lives were lost in Scotland to abortion in 2018.

The stark lack of support the Government has in place for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy is likely a large contributing factor to the upwards trend in abortions. Rather than providing support to keep a child, it often leaves women seeking abortion as an answer.

We can see this in the number of repeat abortions, and abortions for women from poorer areas, which are twice as high as those from more advantaged areas (17.8% per 1,000 women aged 15-44 compared to 8.9%). This is a clear indicator of lack of economic and other supports available to women.

Abortion is not a solution to economic hardship, it is an operation that ends the life of an unborn baby and can have a severely negative impact on women.”