There were more than 200,000 abortions in England and Wales last year, the highest number ever recorded.
Over the past ten years rates have been increasing among older women aged over 35, figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show.
In total, there were 200,608 abortions in women living in England and Wales in 2018. Rates have gone up in women aged 30-34 and the over 35s – from 6.7 to 9.2 per 1,000 women between 2008 and 2018.
Almost all abortions were funded by the NHS and repeat abortions were at their highest level in ten years.
More than 50,000 women had previously had one abortion. More than 60 women had undergone eight or more abortions.
There was a 42 per cent increase in abortions for babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome since 2008.
Clare McCarthy of Right to Life said, ‘Every one of these abortions represents a failure of our society to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies’.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children described the figures as alarming, warning that women’s health is being put beneath pro-abortion ideology.
And the Don’t Screen Us Out campaign warned that Down’s syndrome abortions are set to increase even further under Government plans for Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT).
Meanwhile international research indicates that sex-selective abortions may have resulted in the deaths of more than 23 million girls around the world.
Research from the National University of Singapore, reported in the New Scientist, found that since sex-selective abortion became readily available in the 1970s, male births dominated in twelve countries.
The majority of ‘missing’ females are in China and India. Researchers analysed data from 202 different countries for 1970 to 2017, looking specifically at sex ratio at birth and sex ratio imbalance.
China alone accounts for 51 per cent of the missing girls (11.9 million), and India a further 10.6 million.
Mike Judge, editor