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Record high of over quarter of a million abortions in 2022

There were a record 252,122 abortions in England and Wales in 2022 according to statistics released by the Department of Health and Social Care this morning, an increase of 37,253 (17.34%) from 2021.

After almost a year’s delay, the full abortions statistics in England and Wales were released earlier today and they reveal the highest number of abortions ever recorded in a single year. Of the total number of abortions, the vast majority, 251,377, were for residents of England and Wales, an increase of 37,121.

The statistics for 2022 also reveal a rise in repeat abortions from 91,313 in 2021 up to 102,689 in 2022,  11,376 more, or a 12.46% increase compared with the previous year. 

There were 72 ‘selective termination’ procedures in which a twin, triplet or more were aborted in the womb.

Disability selective abortions

In addition, this morning’s figures show there were 3,124 disability-selective abortions in 2022

256 of which took place at 24 weeks and over.

760 babies with Down’s syndrome were aborted in 2022,19 of which took place at 24 weeks and over, andhere were 46 abortions where the baby had a cleft lip or cleft palate, an increase of 15% from 2021. 6 abortions where a baby had cleft lip or cleft palate took place at 24 weeks and over.

Sadly, the figures for cleft lip and palate are likely to be higher than the Department of Health figures say; for example, a 2013 review by Eurocat showed 157 babies were aborted with cleft lip and palate in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. However, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recorded only 14 such abortions.

The Department of Health and Social Care also reported that the number of abortions funded by the NHS performed by private abortion providers reached a record high of 200,258. This represents a 362.85% increase since 1999 when there were 43,266 abortions performed by private providers. 

This significant rise in abortions has accompanied the second full year that at-home abortion services have been operating in England and Wales. Since home abortions were introduced, a number of significant problems have arisen. 

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

Polling published in the Daily Telegraph earlier this month shows that 71% of women support the reinstatement of in-person appointments and only 9% are in favour of the status quo. In contrast, only 16% of the public support current proposals to decriminalise abortion.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is a national tragedy that 252,122 lives were lost to abortion in England and Wales in 2022”.

“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 significant rise in abortions has accompanied the second full year that abortion services outside of a clinical setting have been operating in England and Wales”.

“Only two years ago, the vote to make at-home abortions permanently available passed by just 27 votes. A large number of MPs had serious concerns about the negative impact these schemes would have on women”. 

“Since then, we have seen these concerns confirmed, with women such as Carla Foster performing at-home abortions well beyond the 24-week time limit, putting their health at serious risk. If Carla Foster had been given an in-person consultation, where her gestation could have been accurately determined, she would not have been able to access abortion pills and this tragic case would have been prevented”.

“The clear solution here is the urgent reinstatement of in-person appointments. This would prevent women’s lives from being put at risk from self-administered late-term abortions”.

Polling shows that 71% of women support the reinstatement of in-person appointments and only 9% are in favour of the status quo”.

“Ahead of the General Election, we are calling on the next Government to urgently bring forward new protections for unborn children and increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies. Polling shows these changes are backed by the public and this would ensure we are working together as a society to reduce the tragic number of lives that are lost to abortion each year”.

Dear reader,

Ahead of the General Election on 4 July, do you want to find out where your local MP candidates stand on abortion?

You can find out now using our Vote For Both Lives tool, which you can access by clicking the button below.