The United Kingdom experienced a significant rise in the abortion rate in 2022, according to data released by the government’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The number of abortions in England and Wales increased from 105,488 between January and June of 2021, to 123,219 between January and June of 2022 — a 17% increase.
The most recent data accounts for the first six months of 2022 due to a backlog in processing forms. When compared to abortion data published last year, experts believe the record numbers are a result of a trend that began due to financial uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. At the height of the pandemic, statistics show there were 110,299 abortions in the UK.
The full statistics for 2021 revealed there were 214,869 terminated pregnancies, highest number since abortion procedures were legalized through the Abortion Act in 1967. The complete data for 2022 is scheduled to be released on January 1, 2024. The current numbers indicate 2022’s abortion rate could top 2021’s numbers.
The first six months of data for 2022 show the majority of abortions took place in the early stages of pregnancy: 67% up to seven weeks gestation; 93% up to 12 weeks, and 98% up to 17 weeks gestation. Medically induced procedures accounted for 86% of abortions, with 97% of these occurring before 10 weeks.
A British Evangelical advocacy group, Christian Concern, told the Christian Post, “The record number equates to roughly 680 pregnancies aborted in England and Wales every day, or the equivalent of 28 lives ended every single hour.”
Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said, “It is with heavy hearts that we witness the devastating toll upon innocent lives. Each number represents a precious child, fearfully and wonderfully made, but whose lives have been cut short.”
According to Williams, the rise in aborted pregnancies is in direct correlation with the increase of DIY at-home abortion products now readily available, in addition to other factors, including a “cost-of-living crisis and a lack of pro-family policies.”
In the first six months of 2022, DIY at-home abortions made up 54% of all terminated pregnancies, meaning more than half of abortions are taking place in homes, without medical supervision, just two years after government officials voted to allow women to self-administer medical abortions at home. This number is sure to increase since lawmakers amended the 1967 Abortion Act in August 2022, to allow women to take abortion pills at home.
Williams said, “The sheer scale of these statistics underscores the urgent need for a collective awakening, a return to valuing and protecting every human life, no matter how small or vulnerable. Our culture’s embrace of abortion as a solution to complex problems is a chilling reflection of our diminished respect for the sanctity of life.”
“Let us strive for a future where we, as a nation, choose compassion and hope in the recognition that every life, from conception to natural end, is a precious gift from God.”