Revised abortion statistics published by the Department of Health (DoH) show that the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales is at its highest in ten years.
The DoH revealed that in 2017 more than 197,000 abortions were carried out, the highest number since 2008.
The statistics also revealed a large increase in abortions among women over the age of 30.
The abortion rate for 30 to 34-year-old women has climbed the highest since 2007, to a rate of 18.5 abortions per 1,000 women, up from 15.1.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said: ‘Showing the extent to which abortion is now often seen as a normal decision, not just for hard cases, a woman told the Telegraph that she had an abortion at the age of 39, despite being happily married to a supportive husband.
‘Sadly, despite being initially excited by the pregnancy, a few weeks of fear and anxiety — feelings which may well have been temporary — led her to the irreversible decision of aborting her baby’.
The figures also revised the number of abortions for disabled babies — 3,314 in 2017.
The number of abortions for women under the age of 18 has however significantly decreased since 2007.
A spokesperson for the DoH said: ‘It’s encouraging to see that the number of women under 18 having abortions has fallen to record lows.
‘However, we do want to better understand why rates in older women are increasing and we are monitoring this trend closely’.
Meanwhile, the revised figures also show that the number of abortions of children with Down’s syndrome has increased by 50 per cent in the last ten years.
Campaign group Don’t Screen Us Out blame developments in Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) — otherwise known as cfDNA testing — which can pick up the condition in the womb.
They said: ‘This situation is set to get far worse as the Government still intends to move ahead with proposals to implement cfDNA testing’.
‘Proponents of the test have glossed over the fact that a National Screening Committee pilot study predicts the new screening will detect 102 more babies with Down’s syndrome every year’.