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Highest number of abortions among residents of England and Wales in 2019 at 207,384

by Premier Journalist

The number of abortions among England and Wales residents reached its highest recorded level in 2019, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. 

The Department of Health have released their annual data for terminations. 

There were 207,384 abortions performed on people living in England and Wales. In 2018, this figure was 200,608. 

The total number of abortions which took place in England and Wales (which includes non-residents) was 209, 519, a rise of 3.4 per cent. 

Changes to abortion law in Northern Ireland will likely show up on next year's statistics when 2020 is reviewed, as abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland in October 2019, with regulations coming in in March 2020. 

40 per cent of women undergoing abortions had had one or more previous abortions and 656 terminations were on pregnancies with Down's syndrome. 

Under the current law, abortion is allowed up to birth if Down’s syndrome has been revealed, although this is being challenged in the UK courts by Heidi Crowter, a Down's Syndrome campaigner. 

The ONS report that the increase in terminations was is mostly among 30-34 year olds and 81 per cent of abortions in 2019 were for women whose marital status was given as single. 

98 per cent of abortions were performed under ground C: where the pregnancy had not exceeded its 24th week and that continuing would involve greater risk to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.

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