The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published the abortion statistics for England and Wales for 2018. The findings in the report are based on the data from abortion notification forms submitted by clinics and hospitals to the Chief Medical Officer at the DHSC.
Key findings in the report include:
- Among residents of England and Wales, there was a 4 per cent increase in abortions from 2017.
- The abortion rate in resident women increased from 16.7 per 1000 women in 2017 to 17.4 per 1000 in 2018.
- There was a slight increase in abortions for non-residents of England and Wales. Sixty-one and 22 per cent of non-residents who had abortions had travelled from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, respectively.
- Although abortion rates have declined consistently for women aged 35 years.
- Seventy-one per cent of abortions in 2018 were medically induced compared with 66 per cent in 2017. The figure has almost doubled since 2008 when it was 37 per cent.
Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, commented on the findings: "The increase in the number of abortions in England and Wales in 2018 demonstrates the unmet need for contraception and the urgent need to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services for women of all ages."