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UK Abortion Rates Rise

July 28th, 2005

Dr Petra

Latest figures on termination rates within the UK suggest 18 in every 1000 women between 18-44 underwent an abortion in the previous year, indicating a 2.1% increase in women seeking terminations.

77% of women now seeking terminations are single, a figure that has seen a 2/3 rise in the past decade. The main age group of women seeking terminations is 18-24, and there was a fall in the rates of abortions in under 18s.

Results showed 9/10 terminations were carried out in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy with only 124 abortions performed for medical reasons on women over 24 weeks pregnant. This indicated a drop in women having late abortions, with 56% of NHS funded terminations being completed under ten weeks compared with 52% two years ago.

Health care professionals, sexual and reproductive health groups and charities have all agreed there’s a greater need for contraception provision and education. Whilst the increase of early abortions will lead to a decrease in unwanted pregnancies, these results suggest more should be done to prevent women having terminations including greater access and use of contraception and support for women to make choices about whether to terminate or continue with a pregnancy.

You can get more information on sexual and reproductive health from:
The Family Planning Association

Marie Stopes

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