50 Years of Abortion in the UK: 17 Facts

October 30, 2017

by Graham Phillips | It has been fifty years since the abortion act was passed in the UK. A controversial subject and one that polarises opinion, it is my aim to put forward facts and facts alone. I believe that they will speak for themselves.

  1. 8.7 million – The number of legal abortions carried out in the UK since the 1967 Act.
  2. The legal grounds for abortion in the UK are as follows:

Ground A: The continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated (Abortion Act, 1967 as amended, section 1(1)(c))

Ground B: The termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (section 1(1)(b))

Ground C: The pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (section 1(1)(a))

Ground D: The pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of any existing children of the family of the pregnant woman (section 1(1)(a))

Ground E: There is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped (section 1(1)(d))

Ground F: To save the life of the pregnant woman (section 1(4))

Ground G: To prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (section 1(4))

  1. % of Abortions in England & Wales 2016 (185,596) Across Grounds A-G:

Ground A: 0.05%

Ground B: 0.08%

Ground C: 97.4%

Ground D: 0.7%

Ground E: 1.7%

Grounds F & G Combined: 0.003%

  1. 99.8% of abortions carried out on Ground C were performed because of a perceived risk to the woman’s mental health. Social reasons such as not feeling ready to raise a child would count as a potential risk to a woman’s mental health.
  2. 0.02% of abortions carried out under Ground C were performed because of a physical risk, for example; excessive vomiting.
  3. 95% of abortions in the past 10 years have been carried out under Ground C.
  4. 62% of abortions carried out in 2016 were medical. Mifegyne is administered which causes the foetus to detach from the wall of the womb and effectively be miscarried.
  5. 33% of abortions in 2016 were done by the surgical procedure known as vacuum aspiration. The most common method used up until around 15 weeks gestation, the foetus is sucked out using a handheld device.
  6. 9,280 – The number of abortions carried out in 2016 by the dilation and evacuation method. In second trimester D & E the cervix is dilated, the amniotic fluid drained and a sopher clamp with sharp serrated teeth is used to remove the baby from the womb. Once all the limbs and organs and head are removed the womb is scraped for any remaining bone fragments and tissue that could cause infection.
  7. An in depth study in Finland ‘Gissler M et al. Pregnancy associated deaths in Finland 1987- 1994. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 1997;76:651-657’ showed that women who aborted were 7 times more likely to commit suicide in the first year afterward than those who delivered their babies. A statistic that surely ought to be taken into account when weighing the potential mental health risks on ground C for a pregnant woman seeking an abortion.
  8. 98% of all abortions in 2016 were funded by the NHS.
  9. 546 – The number of post 20 week babies given a lethal injection in utero to stop their heart prior to a D & E abortion in 2016.
  10. 706 – The number of babies with Down’s Syndrome aborted in 2016.
  11. 71,126 – The number of abortions in 2016 given to women who had had one or more previous abortions
  12. 49 – The number of women who had had nine or more abortions by the year 2013. This number rose significantly from the previous year.
  13. 4,810 – The number of abortions carried out on non-uk residents in hospitals and clinics across England and Wales in 2016. This number in addition to the 185,596 carried out on UK residents.
  14. 55 – The number of abortions carried out on babies at 32 weeks gestation or over in 2016.

This article has been difficult yet necessary to write. My intention is not to offend or cause pain, I feel a great sense of compassion for women who have had abortions and are wracked with guilt because of it. However, I believe I have an obligation to give voice to the 8.7 million aborted babies who never had the chance to raise their own.

Sources

Abortion Statistics, England & Wales: 2016 – Department of Health

UK Abortion Statistics – abort67.co.uk

Are the majority of abortions in the UK illegal? – cmf.org.uk

Feticide – bpas.org

Vacuum Aspiration – bpas.org

D & E Abortion – abortionproceedures.com

Over 8 million abortions since 1967 Act, new stats show – christian.org.uk

 

 

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