More disabled unborn children being aborted, and repeat abortions increase
At LIFE we welcome the small reduction in the level of abortion in England and Wales, but we have deep concern about the sharp growth in abortion for disability and the ongoing increase in repeat abortions. Today's statistics reveal a near-17% rise in abortions of disabled unborn children, and that 37% of all abortions were performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.
Priority must be given to addressing the real needs of women in crisis pregnancy, rather than just fobbing them off with vague platitudes about choice, and also to look at why so many crisis pregnancies occur in Britain today. There is widespread public confusion and ignorance about abortion.
On average, there is one abortion every three minutes. Many people believe that most abortions are carried out on underage girls, or in cases of rape, incest, fetal disability, and direct threat to life or health or the mother, but these account for a very small proportion. Under-18s account for less than 10% of the total. 97% of abortions are carried out under ground C of the Abortion Act, supposedly to preserve the psychological health of the mother. However, there is no evidence that abortion improves mental health outcomes for women in crisis pregnancy, and some evidence to suggest that abortion can actually worsen mental health outcomes. This is particularly relevant given the moves afoot in Ireland to allow abortion in cases where women are allegedly suicidal.
At LIFE we always welcome any reduction in the number of abortions. We are delighted to see more women choosing to continue their pregnancies, to embrace new life and to avoid the potential trauma of abortion.
Hopefully this modest fall in abortion numbers will embolden the government and health authorities to think hard about how to sustain progress in reducing the number of abortions. Whatever one thinks about abortion, every single abortion results in the end of a developing human life. It is a tragedy that abortion is now regarded as a routine response to a crisis pregnancy.