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Christian pregnancy expert says information is key as one in four pregnancies ends in abortion

by Aaron James

The World Health Organisation and the Guttmacher Institute in New York have said there are approximately 56 million abortions across the globe every year.

The number of abortions in richer countries have seen a record fall of 41% between 1990 and 2014.

The figure has remained virtually unchanged in poorer countries, with lower availability of contraception, the higher likelihood of conservative religious views and a lack of prosperity which makes bringing up a child more difficult are all factors.

The report also said that whether a country makes abortion legal or illegal has little effect on the rate of abortions.

Many women are forced to have unsafe backstreet abortions which put their own lives in danger.

Karen Pitchford is Centre director at Crossway Pregnancy Advice Centre, a Christian centre that gives pregnancy advice and sex education.

She told Premier's News Hour that the making abortion illegal does not impact on the rate of women and girls seeking terminations.

Mrs Pitchford said: "It's not something that's happened since abortions have been legal, and banning it will not change that at all.

"It will just make it more of a risk to women in that situation, whereas with legal abortions at least there's very litttle risk to the woman in that situation."

"We do sex and relationships education in schools and that's the sort of thing that's getting squeezed out of the school curriculum, and I think it's very important that all over the world women and men have access to information to make good choices."

REX/Susannah Ireland

James Mildred, from the Christian charity CARE, told Premier: "I think these statistics are tragic, and it really points to the fact that abortion increasingly is seen as a solution to unplanned pregnancies and problematic pregnancies, and that is highly disturbing.

"I would want to pay tribute to the work that many Christian organisations and Christian individuals do, especially in providing good quality pastoral care for women... and that certainly offers a real vision of how we can move forward in this.

"There are other options out there other than just having an abortion."

Woman abortion - copyright Burger/Phanie/REX

Dr Gilda Sedgh, from the Guttmacher Institute, said: "In developed countries, the continued fall in abortion rates is largely due to increased use of modern contraception that has given women greater control over the timing and number of children they want.

"In developing countries, however, family planning services do not seem to be keeping up with the increasing desire for smaller families.

"More than 80% of unintended pregnancies are experienced by women with an unmet need for modern methods of contraception, and many unwanted pregnancies end in abortion.

"More women living in countries with the most restrictive abortion laws have an unmet need for contraception - that is, they want to avoid getting pregnant but are not using a method of family planning - than women in countries with more liberal laws, and this adds to the incidence of abortion in countries with restrictive laws."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to James Mildred:

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speaking to Karen Pitchford here:

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