This site is intended for health professionals only

Number of abortions in England and Wales falling

22 May 2009

Share this article

Figures show fewer abortions were carried out in England and Wales in 2008 compared with the year before.

A detailed breakdown of the data, published by the Department of Health, shows last year there were 195,296 abortions, 1.6% lower than the 198,499 in 2007.

The number of abortions among girls under 16 and all girls under 18 were also lower than in 2007.

The data also show that among under-15s in England and Wales there were 1,097 abortions in 2008 and 931 were carried out on 14-year-olds while 166 were among girls aged under 14.

Figures show 64,715 women who had abortions in 2008 had already had the procedure before.

A further 6,862 abortions were carried out among nonresidents in 2008, down on the 7,099 performed in 2007.

The data, which chart a decline in the number of procedures, has been welcomed by health charities, which had predicted the number among women living in England and Wales would pass 200,000 for the first time.

Julie Bentley, chief executive of the FPA (Family Planning Association), said: “Continued investment in contraception services to ensure all sexually active women have the right method of contraception is essential to sustain this trend.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Family Planning Association