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.”

Press release – Cross-party group of MPs bring forward Bill to clarify cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot not grounds for abortion

Stand up and smile campaign

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press release – Cross-party group of MPs bring forward Bill to clarify cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot not grounds for abortion

A cross-party group of MPs have come together to bring forward the Abortion (Cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot protection) Bill.

The Bill would change the law to clarify that cleft palate, cleft lip, cleft palate and lip, and club foot are not grounds for abortion in the UK. This would mean that abortions could not occur when the primary diagnosed condition is cleft palate, cleft lip, cleft palate and lip, and club foot. 

All of these conditions can be corrected. The main treatment to correct a cleft lip is an operation, which is usually done when a baby is 3 to 6 months, whereas an operation to repair a cleft palate is usually done at 6 to 12 months. Treatment for clubfoot is minimally invasive and is usually achieved using the Ponseti method.

The Bill is being led by Fiona Bruce MP. The issue is of personal significance to her, as her son was born with club foot.

Official abortion statistics for England and Wales show that abortions are happening on the grounds that a baby has one of these conditions. Due to underreporting these figures are likely significantly higher than what is being reported. 

Seventy-five babies with either a cleft lip or cleft palate as their principal condition were aborted between 2011 and 2018. Sadly, the figures are likely to be much higher, for example a 2013 review by Eurocat showed 157 babies were aborted for cleft lip and palate in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. However, the Department of Health & Social Care (DoHSC) recorded only 14 such abortions.

While the Government are reluctant to release data on club foot terminations, data reported by Eurocat showed that 205 babies with club foot were aborted in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010.

There is no shortage of testimonials from individuals who have been diagnosed with cleft lip, cleft palate or club foot and were not held back, including Steven Gerrard, Joaquin Phoenix, Kristi Yamaguchi and Carmit Bachar.

Polling from SavantaComRes shows that only one in three people think it is acceptable to ban abortion for gender or race but allow it for disability. The support for allowing disability-selective abortion for conditions such as club foot, cleft lip and cleft palate is likely even lower.

Right To Life UK has today launched the Stand Up and Smile campaign and is encouraging members of the public to visit the campaign page at www.standupandsmile.org.uk where they can ask their MP to support the Bill.

Fiona Bruce MP, who is leading on the Bill and is MP for Congleton, said:

“The Bill will clarify that cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot are not grounds for abortion. This is a sensible law change that I am inviting all MPs, regardless of where they stand on the wider issue of abortion, to get behind and support. 

It’s now been 30 years since Parliament last properly reviewed our law on abortion for disability in 1990. It’s time our legislation caught up to reflect society’s positive change in attitudes towards those born with disabilities, and medical advances in the intervening years

My older son was born with a club foot. He had physiotherapy every day for the first year of his life and had two operations, but now no one would ever know, apart from the most experienced clinician in this field. So I know how such a condition can be corrected. It is hard to think that such a treatable disability could have deprived my son of life, which, now in his mid-20s, he lives to the full.

Being born with this condition has not held him back – rather the opposite. I think it has given him a depth of understanding about the value of every human life.

I am leading a cross-party group of MPs to bring this Bill forward because every child with one of these conditions deserves the same chance of life as my son. I also want to ensure that no parent has to go through any pressure to abort their baby for what is clearly a correctable condition.

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

“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. 

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.   

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.”

ENDS

Action alert – Ask your MSPs/AMs to revoke dangerous Scotland and Wales ‘DIY’ abortion decisions

The Scottish and Welsh Governments have unfortunately followed the UK Government and introduced ‘DIY’ abortions to Scotland and Wales.

The very substantial change has been announced without any public consultation, parliamentary scrutiny or debate.  

Thank you to everyone that has written to their MPs asking them to revoke the decision made by the Conservative Government for England.

We now need to ensure that it is also clear to both the Scottish and Welsh Governments that the public in Scotland and Wales are upset about the decision each Government has made and that it should be revoked in Scotland and Wales as soon as possible. 

It is vital that there is pressure in all three Governments on this issue.

If you are a Scottish or Welsh resident, please click the button below to email your MSPs/AMs asking them to urgently raise this with the Scottish/Welsh Government. It only takes 30 seconds.

Once you have emailed your MSPs/AMs, please do let friends and family know to email their MSPs/AMs.

Thank you for your help on this.