As abortions continue to decline in the United States, in the United Kingdom, abortion rates are climbing. Abortion numbers declined in the UK in the 1990s and 2010s and the number of Irish women traveling to England for abortions has decreased. Yet the number of abortions has risen from 190,406 in 2016 to a record 209,519 abortions in 2019, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Majority of abortions for unspecified mental health reasons
There are multiple grounds on which a woman may undergo an abortion in the UK. Under the Abortion Act 1967, two medical practitioners must agree that an abortion is justified under one or more of seven grounds, A — G. Ninety-eight percent (98%) of abortions in the UK in 2019 were listed under ground C:
That the pregnancy has NOT exceeded its 24th 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.
Of abortions committed under ground C, 99.9% “were reported as being performed because of a risk to the woman’s mental health.” These were classified as simply “mental disorder, not otherwise specified.” That means 202,772 of the 209,519 preborn children aborted in the UK in 2019 were reportedly killed because of their mothers’ unspecified mental health conditions.
Cruel and Inhumane Practices
Last year, doctors in the UK revised the age of viability (the ability of a child to survive outside the womb), dropping it from 24 weeks to 22 weeks. Still, of the 207,384 abortions committed on residents of the UK in 2019, 1,717 were done at 22 weeks or later in the pregnancy, when those children might have survived.
Though feticide is recommended by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to kill a preborn child before he or she is aborted, only 55% of these late-term abortions were reported as having included the use of feticide. 41% were committed “by a method whereby the fetal heart is stopped as part of the procedure” — such as a D&E abortion.
The report states that 50 percent of surgical abortions after 20 weeks were committed using the D&E dismemberment abortion procedure in which a child’s limbs are ripped from her torso, as explained by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino in the video below. Yet only 14 percent of surgical abortions after 20 weeks included the use of feticide. This means a large percentage of viable preborn children could be being killed through dismemberment as the method of stopping “the fetal heart… as part of the procedure.” These babies are capable of feeling pain.
Forty percent of women in the UK who had an abortion in 2019 had a history of at least one prior abortion. The number of repeat abortions rose from 78,988 in 2018 to 83,624 in 2019. Last year, it was reported that five teenage girls were among the hundreds of women in the UK who have had at least six abortions.
Abortion for Disabilities
In 2019, there were 3,183 abortions carried out because of discrimination against a preborn child who received a poor prenatal diagnosis. Yet 10 percent of these abortions were committed under 13 weeks gestation. This likely means the disabilities were diagnosed through blood tests, which are known for false positives, and only show potential increased risk of a diagnosis.
Included in those abortions were those carried out on babies whose lives were not at immediate risk, including 118 for spina bifida, 656 for Down syndrome, 12 for cystic fibrosis, and 17 for cleft lip or palate — three after 24 weeks. According to Right to Life UK, the birth of babies with Down syndrome has dropped by 30 percent since non-invasive prenatal screening was introduced.
The UK Parliament Abortion Bill currently in debate seeks to protect babies with cleft lip/palate or club foot from abortion.
In 2019, 126 of the abortions in the UK were committed on twins or triplets in order to reduce the number of children the mother is carrying (selective reduction or selective termination) — a 14% increase. Even if pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s health, actively killing one of a set of twins or triplets is not medically necessary.
Abortion Rate by Age
The abortion rate for minor girls has declined in the UK over the last 10 years, with the greatest decrease among girls under age 16. This age group had 4.0 abortions per 1,000 girls in 2009 compared to just 1.4 abortions per 1,000 girls in 2019. However, abortions on women age 25 and over continue to increase.
Abortion Pill Increase
The use of the abortion pill accounted for 73 percent of the abortions in the UK in 2019. Of those, 36 percent were completed by the woman at her home. The number of women finishing chemical abortions at home without medical supervision increased during each quarter of 2019 from 5,398 in quarter one to 18,491 in quarter four. Despite the common belief that the abortion pill is safe, it carries major risks of complications for women, including hemorrhaging and even death. Women have shared horror stories of how the pill caused them significant harm, including seeing their aborted babies’ bodies they had aborted.
Poor Women Have Higher Risk of Abortion
Women living in what are considered “more deprived areas” of the UK are more likely to obtain abortions than those living in “less deprived areas.” The rate for women in deprived areas is 26.1 abortions per 1,000 women, which is more than double the rate of women in more privileged areas (12.0 abortions per 1,000 women).
Increase in Abortions by Private Businesses
The abortion “market share” of private abortion businesses including Marie Stopes International and BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) has continued to increase and now accounts for 74% of all the abortions in England and Wales. Concerns about these businesses have surfaced in recent years, including that the facilities are “inadequate” in safety by the Care Quality Commission.
In 2019, 204,395 of the abortions in the UK were funded by the NHS, both at NHS hospitals and at privately run abortion businesses.
The Two-Child Limit
The “two-child limit” in the UK may very well be the reason behind this increase in abortion. In his 2015 budget, austerity Chancellor George Osborne capped child credits at two children per family. The government policy is a “two-child benefit cap” which “was designed to influence reproductive decision-making,” said BPAS, a private abortion business that actually stands against this two-child policy, which is forcing many families to choose between money and their children. Sally and her family are a prime example. As a mother of two boys, she was four months pregnant with a girl when she learned about the new two-child limit and felt forced to abort.
“I think it’s something I will never forgive myself for,” she said. “[…] I feel guilty, ashamed, angry. The Government does not value my right to a family at all or my family. I’m being penalised for being poor.”
How many of the 207,384 abortions committed on residents of England and Wales were done because the mother felt as Sally did — that she had no other choice? Abortion is not freedom.
Editor’s Note, 6/15/20: Updates were made to this article for accuracy.
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