48,000 Repeat Abortions in 2010 – some as many as 8 abortions – and at a staggering cost to the public purse


Latest statistics show that 48,000 people have had more than one abortion in the last year – some as many as eight. 6.2 million abortions have taken place since 1968 and in the past eight years fewer than 10 have been in emergency cases where a life was at risk. The cost to the NHS was £90 million last year alone and this does not include the cost of abortions performed by the independent sector, which were commissioned directly by Primary Care Trust commissioners. The Government say that information is not collected centrally. A Government which says it cares how public money is spent should surely be interested in how much money is given to the private sector. I am surprised no-one has made a Freedom of Information request to PCTs to see whose pockets they have been pouring their money into- and how much. Or, don’t we care? Just as we don’t seem to care about the staggering number of abortions – some of them repeated again and again. And take a look at the figures from London. What’s happened to that fanciful slogan about abortion being “rare” and only in desperate circumstances?

Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many women in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales who had had (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four, (e) five, (f) six, (g) seven, (h) eight, (i) nine, and (j) 10 or more, previous abortions had an abortion in 2010.

Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 14 June 2011, c167W)

Photo of Earl Howe

Earl Howe (Conservative)

The information requested is provided in the following table.
Number of previous abortions by Strategic Health Authority of residence, 2010
Strategic Health Authority 0 1 2 3 4 5 or more Total
Number of previous abortions
East of England 11,242 4,087 1,114 280 71 35 16,829
East Midlands 8,523 2,614 566 119 34 13 11,869
London 27,391 13,726 3,933 1,115 348 173 46,686
North East 5,002 1,563 362 79 .. .. 7,029
North West 17,396 5,904 1,257 276 67 33 24,933
South Central 7,734 2,931 687 136 .. .. 11,533
South East 8,550 3,518 865 208 35 24 13,200
South West 9,245 2,968 585 135 36 16 12,985
West Midlands 13,141 5,448 1,331 296 68 47 20,331
Yorkshire & Humber 10,795 3,668 827 184 48 25 15,547
Wales 6,252 1,921 368 62 .. .. 8,632
England and Wales 125,271 48,348 11,895 2,890 787 383 189,574

Notes:

Number of previous abortions are grouped where totals are less than 10 (between 0 and 9) or where a presented total would reveal a suppressed value from previously published data.

Suppressed value less than 10 (between 0 and 9).

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Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many abortions have been performed under the Abortion Act 1967 as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; and how many and what proportion were performed (a) in an emergency to save the life of the mother, and (b) in cases of rape.

Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 16 June 2011, c201W)

Earl Howe (Conservative)

There have been 6.26 million abortions performed on residents of England and Wales between 1968 and 2010. Between 1968 and 2002, 401 of these were performed under Section 1(4), in an emergency to save the life of the pregnant woman. For all of the years since 2003 the number of abortions performed under these grounds was less than 10 (between zero and nine) and the data have been suppressed in line with Office for National Statistics guidance on the release of abortion statistics, 2005.

Information about abortions due to rape is not collected by the department.

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Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the cost to the National Health Service of providing abortions in (a) NHS hospitals, and (b) approved independent sector places in 2010.

Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 14 June 2011, c168W)

Earl Howe (Conservative)

The total cost to National Health Service providers (NHS trusts and primary care trust (PCT) provider arms) of providing abortion services in 2009-10 was £82.6 million.

Information on the cost of abortions performed by the independent sector, which were commissioned directly by PCT commissioners, is not collected centrally. However, the department does collect the cost to NHS providers (NHS trusts, foundation trusts and PCT provider arms) of commissioning or contracting abortions from independent sector providers. The cost of this in 2009-10 was £7.5 million.

Source: published reference cost data.

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