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Abortion rates jump significantly in England, Wales


Thanks in part to the government easing of restrictions on taking abortion pills at home, the number of pregnancy terminations in England and Wales for 2020 is significantly higher than the previous year.


The Guardian reported that 209,917 abortions were reported in 2020, up from 207,384 in 2019. Women aged 30 to 34 accounted for the largest increase in abortion rates by age — with a rise from 16.5 per 1,000 in 2010 to 21.9 in 2020.

Abortion rates for those aged under 18, however, have declined over the past 10 years, from 16.5 per 1,000 women in 2010 to 6.9 per 1,000 in 2020, said the newspaper. 

The statistics, published by the Department of Health and Social Care on June 10, also said that 3,083 abortions took place in 2020 on grounds of disability, including: 

  • 693 abortions of babies with Down syndrome, an increase of 5.64% over 2019. 

  • 35 abortions where the baby had cleft lip or cleft palate, 105.88% over 2019 figures.

In addition, 65 “selective termination” procedures were performed, where there were twins, triplets or more, and parents did not want that many children.


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