BY ALANNAH FRANCIS
THE ABORTION RATE for England and Wales fell last year the first time in six years.
The figures, published by the Department of Health, showed that the number of legal abortions was 195,296 in 2008 compared to 198,499 in 2007.
Dominica Roberts of the ProLife Alliance said: “The ProLife Alliance welcomes the 1.6 per cent decrease in the abortion figures for 2008, and notes the slightly lower percentage of abortions for teenagers, which is also to be celebrated as a small but positive step in the right direction.” However, the group expressed concerns over the inadequacies in reporting, as the data withholds figures of “sensitive fields” relating to the age or the grounds of those undergoing the procedures.
Miss Roberts said: “It is totally unacceptable that a controversial health procedure, which is illegal if not performed within the full conditions laid down in law, is being reported so inadequately. It has been decided to withhold any figures that go below 10. These are the very areas we need to know most about.” The statistics came as a surprise to some health charities which had expected the abortion rate to hit 200,000. The number of women having abortions has been steadily rising since 2002 when the figure was 175,932. The rate of abortions for girls under the age of 16 also dropped. The report revealed that the NHS funded 91 per cent of all abortions.
Paul Tully of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said: “The scandal of government-backed abortions is reflected in these figures, which show the highest ever number of NHS-funded abortions. State provision of abortion is now a major aspect of government policy.”