Quick Bit: England and Wales saw a record number of abortions in 2021, with one expert in the field blaming the rise partly on government lockdown
Far from the baby-boom some predicted early in lockdown, Britain has actually experienced an abortion boom. Over 200,000 abortions were carried out in Wales and England in 2021, government statistics released on Tuesday have revealed, marking a new all-time high for abortion in the two UK home nations.
Some operating in the UK’s abortion sector have put the increase down to a worsening financial situation in the UK, with one professional blaming the pandemic as well as government lockdown rules for the rise.
This is reportedly roughly equivalent to 18.6 abortions per 1000 women aged between 15 and 44 in 2021.
Abortions were highest for 22-year-old women, with the age group reportedly seeing 31 abortions occur for every 1,000 women last year.
Government statistics also revealed that at least 99 per cent of abortions carried out across two nations last year were paid for by the British taxpayer through the UK’s NHS socialised healthcare service, with many of these terminations then being contracted out to third parties.
According to a report by The Guardian, professionals within the abortion industry believe the rise is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the UK government’s lockdown regime.
“The pandemic, and the policies adopted by the government in response, have had a clear impact on women’s pregnancy choices,” the publication reports Clare Murphy, the head of major abortion provider BPAS, as saying.
“Faced with economic uncertainty and job insecurity, women and their partners have been making sometimes tough decisions around continuing or ending a pregnancy,” she went on to claim.
Another professional in the industry meanwhile said that he would not be surprised if the number of abortions each year continues to rise as a result of ongoing economic hardship.
“…with continuing problems accessing contraception coupled with the cost of living crisis, we would not be surprised to see greater demand over the coming months,” said Jonathan Lord, who directs another major abortion provider, MSI Reproductive Choices.
The abortion tsar is also reported as describing the termination of pregnancies as a “essential choice”, a view seemingly accepted as true by UK politicians on the left and right, with many Conservative Party MPs voting to further liberalise abortion services in England this year.
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