2020 abortion numbers show drastic increase on 2019’s all-time high

There has been a significant rise in the number of abortions performed so far in 2020, compared to the already all-time high figures recorded in 2019, new statistics have revealed.

The statistics, released by the Department of Health & Social Care this morning, show that 109,836 abortions were performed for English and Welsh residents in the six months between 1 January and 30 June 2020.

This is an increase of 4,296 from the same time period in 2019, where 105,540 terminations were performed. Abortion numbers for 2019 were the highest ever recorded in England and Wales over a full calendar year, at 200,608.

However, at the current rate, 2020’s abortion numbers look set to eclipse 2019’s total.

The total number of abortions which took place in England between 1 January and 30 June 2020 were 104,604, an increase of 3,820 when compared to 100,784 in 2019.

The total number of abortions which took place in Wales between 1 January and 30 June 2020 were 5,232, an increase of 476 when compared to 4,756 in 2019.

Rise coincides with ‘DIY’ home abortion change

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 in late March, 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.

It also discovered ‘DIY’ home abortion pills can easily be obtained and administered to others, potentially in a coercive manner.

In May, it was revealed UK police were investigating the death of an unborn baby after its 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.

One woman said she went through “hell” and thought she was going to die after taking the dangerous pills.

Another woman said the pain and physical process was “horrible” and “a lot worse than expected”.

The Government has recently announced that it will be launching a consultation on whether to end the temporary measure allowing ‘DIY’ home abortions or to make it permanent.

‘National Tragedy’

A 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 we  protected 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 the 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.”

Abortion at all-time high: 209,519 lives lost in 2019

Abortion numbers in England & Wales hit an all-time high of 209,519 abortions in 2019, according to figures released by the Department for Health today.

The total number of abortions for English and Welsh residents was also the highest ever recorded with 207,384 terminations performed in England and Wales in 2019, an overall increase of 6,776 from 200,608 abortions in 2018.

Repeat terminations

In addition to this overall increase, the figures show a rise in the number of repeat abortions from 78,988 in 2018 to 83,624. This means that, in 2019, 40% of all abortions were performed on women who had at least one abortion on a prior occasion.

Last year, it was revealed five teenagers were among hundreds of UK women who have had at least six abortions.

Data released by the Department of Health for England and Wales and NHS Scotland under the Freedom of Information Act also showed 4,389 women, including 23 teenagers, had their fourth termination.

In 2019, the number of abortions for those under the age of 16 was 1337 – an increase of 5.52% from 1267 in 2018. 

‘Twin terminations’

126 ‘selective terminations’ were performed in 2019 (procedures performed where a twin, triplet or more were aborted in the womb).

This number represents a 14% increase in ‘selective terminations’ compared to 2018 and a 75% increase compared to 2011 when there were 72 twin terminations.

Disability-selective terminations

In 2019, there were 3,183 disability-selective abortions. This represents an increase of 53% compared to 2009 when there were 2,085.

656 of the 3,183 disability-selective abortions were for Down’s syndrome. 

Campaign groups such as Don’t Screen Us Out, who have worked to highlight their concerns that new pre-natal screening for Down’s syndrome and the likelihood of this screening to lead to an increase in the numbers of children with Down’s Syndrome who are aborted, have already highlighted the 618 abortions for Down’s syndrome in 2019.

These concerns seem to have been confirmed by recent figures which found that the number of babies born with Down’s syndrome has fallen by 30% in NHS hospitals that have introduced the new form of screening.

The figures, which were released by 26 hospital trusts in England under Freedom of Information laws, account for about a fifth of the hospital trusts that offer maternity services. They show that more women who have the new test go on to have abortions.

Lynn Murray, the spokesperson for Don’t Screen Us Out who has a daughter with Down’s Syndrome said: “As a mother of a 20-year-old daughter who has Down’s syndrome, I see every day the unique value she brings to our family and the positive impact she has on others around her. 

“It is deeply concerning that despite the leaps that advocacy groups have made in raising awareness in support of people with Down’s syndrome, abortion in the case of Down’s syndrome is still so commonplace and widespread in the UK. In fact, we hear from parents all the time how abortion was repeatedly presented to them in the hospital as an obvious solution following the receipt of the news that their baby had Down’s syndrome.

“This is reflected directly in recent official figures showing that almost 100% of babies found to have Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland are born. This greatly contrasts with the 90% termination rate for Down’s syndrome from other parts of the UK.”

Abortions for cleft lip and cleft palate continue

The disability-selective abortion figures also show that 17 abortions were performed on babies with a cleft lip or palate, with three of those taking place after 24 weeks. 

It is hoped pregnancy terminations for cleft lip or palate will become a thing of the past, after a cross-party group of MPs launched a Bill seeking to protect babies with these correctable conditions from abortion. 

The Abortion (Cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot protection) Bill, which received its First Reading in the House of Commons on 3 June 2020, seeks to clarify in law that cleft palate, cleft lip, cleft palate and lip, and club foot are not grounds for abortion in the UK. 

Sadly, the figures for cleft lip and palate are likely to be much higher, 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 & Social Care (DoHSC) has only recorded 14 such abortions.

While there is evidence the DoHSC collects abortion figures where club foot is listed as the principle condition, it does not make these identifiable in its annual abortion statistic publications. Seemingly identifying that such abortions take place, Health Minister Helen Whately has said the figures “could only be obtained at disproportionate cost”.

In response to cleft lip and palate abortion figures, a spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“These statistics show that abortions are continuing to happen for correctable conditions such as cleft lip and palate. This shows the urgent need for a law change to clarify that cleft palate, cleft lip, cleft palate and lip, and club foot are not grounds for abortion in the UK.

“People are shocked and horrified when they discover that abortion is permitted up to birth after the diagnosis of cleft lip, cleft palate, and clubfoot as the primary condition, believing it goes against the very fabric of what our country stands for today.  

“As a society, we should be empowering those with disabilities, and take great pride in the positive contribution they make to our country. To do this, we have a moral obligation to quash anything that perpetuates false and negative stereotypes towards those with a disability, and that is why we support the group of cross-party MPs who have brought forward this important Bill to help end disability-discrimination in the womb. 

“Our abortion legislation is badly in need of reform to end this unjust discrimination, and we hope this Bill is successful in helping end this disability-discrimination.”

Private abortion providers increase ‘market share’

As the number of abortions overall have increased, so has the percentage of abortions performed by private abortion providers, who, in 2019, were responsible for 74% of all the abortions in England and Wales. 

Over the past 20 years there has been a 255% increase in the number of abortions performed by private providers, who, in 2019, performed 153,601 terminations – an increase of 110,335 from 1999 when they performed 43,266.

The increase in terminations by private abortion providers, such as Marie Stopes International and BPAS, comes amid a year of significant safety scandals at their clinics across the UK, with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating over 60% as “inadequate” or “requires improvement” on safety grounds. 

Last year, BPAS Merseyside became the first abortion clinic to be rated as “requires improvement” since the system was introduced in September 2017.

CQC inspectors found six cases of women who “required urgent medical attention due to complications and were transferred from the service to another healthcare provider,” following ‘treatment’ at the abortion provider. Five of these cases were reported as serious incidents requiring further investigation.

Earlier this year, the UK’s second largest late-term abortion clinic, BPAS Streatham, was also found to be putting women at risk after a surprise inspection found “incompetent staff who had not completed life support training” and faulty equipment.

Despite the safety risks abortion clinics pose to women, as well as unborn babies, it seems abortion clinics haven’t been inspected since the coronavirus lockdown began over three months ago.

Commenting on continued increase in abortions performed by private abortion providers, even amid significant safety concerns, Catherine Robinson said: 

“This increase in abortions comes as private abortion clinics have been accused by the Care Quality Commission of paying staff bonuses for persuading women to undergo abortions. 

“Vulnerable women should not be seen as a revenue opportunity but sadly we know this is not the reality as abortion itself is a multi-million pound industry. Private abortion clinics have a vested monetary interest in increasing the numbers of abortions they perform every year.”

Strong support for change

In response to the publication of the 2019 abortion statistics, Catherine Robinson said: It is a national tragedy that 209,519 lives were lost to abortion in 2019. This is the highest number of abortions ever in England and Wales. 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. 

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

“Proposals from abortion campaigners to remove legal restrictions around abortion and introduce abortion right to birth would likely see these numbers get even worse.

“We are calling on the Government to urgently bring forward sensible new restrictions and increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies. This would ensure we were working together as a society to reduce the tragic number of abortions that happen each year.”

Abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2019, ending the lives of over 42 million unborn babies

Over 42 million abortions took place globally in 2019 according to new figures that found abortion to be the single largest cause of death. 

The statistics, compiled by tracking service Worldometers, counted approximately 42.4 million abortions took place last year.

In comparison, the organisation which does not include abortion in its mortality rates found the number of deaths attributed to all other causes is approximately 58.6 million, making abortions, in our calculations, account for 42% of all deaths worldwide in 2019.

In comparison, Worldometers found the number of death attributed to all other causes – excluding abortions – was approximately 58.6 million. If abortion rates were included in these figures, it would make terminations, by our calculation, account for 42% of all deaths worldwide in 2019.

The number of deaths caused by abortion far outweighs every other cause, with death due to disease accounting for 12.9% of the total (13 million) and cancer 8.1% (8.2 million).

Additionally, Worldometers found that just under a quarter of all pregnancies (22 percent) were ended by abortion in 2019 and for every 33 live births, ten unborn babies were aborted.

The independent site performs extensive research and collects data from Governments and reputable organizations “with the goal of making world statistics available in a thought-provoking and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world.”

Its data has been published in over 2,000 scientific journals, has been used by the BBC and the UN, and has been verified by independent fact-checking website Snopes which, rather than dispute the figures last year, argued that abortion should not be considered a “cause of death.”

As of 6 January, Worldometers has already estimated more than 646,000 worldwide abortions so far in 2020.

The most recent abortion statistics for England and Wales revealed that abortion numbers hit a ten-year high in 2018, with 205,295 abortions. This equates to almost 1 in 4 (23.8%) of all pregnancies ending in abortion.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“It is heart-breaking that a mother’s womb, which should be one of the safest places for any person, is one of the most dangerous places to be.

“In 2020, and beyond, we will be calling on the Government to urgently bring forward increased support for women with unplanned pregnancies to reduce the tragic number of abortions that happen each year.

“Our analysis of the make-up of the new parliament indicates that, with your support, this is possible, as the number of pro-life MPs has increased while the pro-abortion lobby has lost a large number of MPs. While this is positive, the threat of the introduction of an extreme abortion law has not gone away. The Domestic Abuse Bill will be back and the abortion lobby will be back in force, ready to amend it with the aim of introducing an extreme abortion law to England and Wales.

Five teenagers among over 700 women who had at least their sixth abortion last year – calls made for parental notification law

Last year, five teenagers were among hundreds of UK women who had at least their sixth abortion a Freedom of Information request conducted by Sky News has revealed.

Overall, 84,258 repeat abortions were performed in Britain in 2018, including 3,332 on teenagers – with the overall figure up 7% on 2017 and an 11% rise on 2016.

Pro-life campaigners have called upon political party leaders to urgently commit to introducing parental notification legislation in the next Parliament.

Data released by the Department of Health for England and Wales and NHS Scotland under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that:

  • 143 women had an abortion last year having previously had seven or more terminations – a 19% increase on 2017 and a 27% rise on 2016
  • 172 women had their seventh abortion in 2018 – a 26% increase on 2016
  • 403 women had their sixth termination – 10% up on 2017 and a 33% increase on 2016
  • 718 women -– including five teenagers – had their sixth abortion in 2018
  • 1,298 women – including five teenagers – had their fifth abortion in 2018
  • 4,389 women – including 23 teenagers – had their fourth termination

Earlier in the year, the Department of Health released figures showing that the number of abortions for residents of England and Wales was the highest number ever in 2018 at 200,608.

The figures do not include Northern Ireland where Europe’s most extreme abortion has been imposed upon the province.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“This election we are calling on party leaders to commit to urgently introduce parental notification legislation in the next Parliament.

“Polling shows a large majority of parents want a law change on this. It’s now time for Parliament to begin steps to introduce a parental notification law that will ensure that parents are involved in what can be one of the biggest decisions of their child’s lives.

“As a parent, I understand why parents around the country are shocked that their child can be taken away to an abortion clinic for a secret abortion without parents being involved. To hear that five teenagers have had at least six abortions shows that this legislation is urgently needed in the UK.

“The abortion industry cannot be trusted to take the place of parents to know what is in the best interests of their child. As we have seen from Care Quality Commission reports, abortion facilities have been found to have a vested interest in girls undergoing abortions.

“This highlights the lack of legal protections in place to protect vulnerable girls, under the age of consent, and the fact that parents have no legal right to be informed or consulted about their child’s abortion.

“This also highlights the ridiculous scenario here in the UK where a girl aged under 16 needs parental consent to take a paracetamol pill at school but does not need any parental consent for her school nurse to take her off to an abortion clinic to terminate her pregnancy.“

“A ComRes poll, conducted in 2017, showed that 70% of parents agree that parental or guardian consent should be required for girls aged 15 or under to undergo an abortion.”

Pro-life charity Life said the figures were “extremely alarming but hardly surprising given the increasingly easy access to abortion”.

The charity’s director of advocacy Liz Parsons told Sky News: “Women having repeat abortions, especially young people, would suggest there are underlying problems leading to unplanned pregnancies which are not resolved by putting women on the abortion conveyor belt.”