Abortions in the news again

// 19 June 2008

No this time because of legislation but because the Department of Health has published it’s annual statistical report on abortions. So here are the key headline facts:

  • The total number of abortions performed on UK resident women in 2007 was 198,500. In 2006 this was 193,700 (2.5% rise).
  • In addition 7,100 abortions were performed for non-resident women, in 2006 this was 7,400 thus constituting a drop of around 4%.
  • 99% of those abortions were carried out under 20 weeks gestation
  • 2.8% of those abortions were for young women under the age of 16 and (culmulatively) 24.3% for young women under the age of 20. Contrastingly 63.5% were for women aged 20-35 years old.
  • 32% of women seeking abortion had had one or more abortions previously. The vast majority of those had had one previous termination (77%). Less than 1.6% had had more than three abortions. So this myth of the feckless woman having termination after termination is a complete misnomer.
  • Of those 48% were black or black british women, 41% mixed heritage, 33% Chinese or other, 31% white and 28% asian or asian british. So this is one of those sites where multiple discriminations are in-play.

The statistics do cover the marital status of women (unsurprisingly largest group are unmarried women with a partner) but not their socio-economic class. More statistics later on changes over time (currently number crunching them!).

Comments From You

Kimberley // Posted 19 June 2008 at 11:30 pm

So that’s what set off the London Lite’s “abortion on under-14’s up 20%” headline. (For the curious, that’s from less than 200 to less than 200.) Was glad to see the calls for better sex education included in the article though.

Polly // Posted 20 June 2008 at 10:25 am

Aren’t the percentages wrong on that last bulletpoint? Otherwise it adds up to more than 100.

Kathy // Posted 20 June 2008 at 10:28 am

Thank you very much for the figures, it’s good to see a proper summary of what’s behind the screaming headlines without having to read the whole thing myself!

However, apologies for being pedantic, but why do the figures in the last bullet point add up to more than 100%?

Anne Onne // Posted 20 June 2008 at 12:13 pm

Excellent to see some statistics. Abortion is an issue key to ALL women, and it’s good to see stats that blow some of the ludicrous myths out of the water.

Mobot // Posted 20 June 2008 at 3:27 pm

Last week I received a bulletin from a mailing list I sign up to for voluntary sector workers. Each week there is a poll where people can vote on a topical story – what was different about this one was the shift from the usual brief yet balanced summary to highly emotive red-top style coverage of the issue in question… which was, of course, abortion. The author made out that growing numbers of irresponsible women were ‘shockingly’ having multiple abortions and that this is made ‘too easy’ for them. I was totally disgusted at reading this in a normally liberal and intelligent context. Thanks for setting the facts straight.

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