Slight fall in unreliable abortion stats

Although I would extend the Abortion Act to NI tomorrow, it’s important to state the obvious, that every abortion is a tragedy and a loss. The figures suggest that the NI abortion rate is well down on the rate for England and Wales. The Family Planning Association is right to welcome a slight fall in the previous record number of women with NI addresses, seeking an abortion in GB. We know to treat the figures with caution, as they don’t include local women giving GB addresses. Some women travel to places like the Netherlands, where abortion is cheaper. What remains a scandal is that NI women have to pay for an abortion on the NHS in GB because it’s illegal in the NHS in NI. The E&W abortion rate is slightly down too, still falling short of the 200,000 figure, although the rise in repeat abortions is depressing. Abortion in England and Wales
“The numbers released by the Department of Health showed that 33 per cent of women had a second or further abortion, compared with 29 per cent in 1998. Nearly a quarter, 24 per cent, of women under 25 who had abortions were going through a repeat abortion. Those who had undergone two abortions include 1,448 girls under 18. There were 2,780 women who had their fourth abortion, and 1,121 who had five or more.”

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London