FSRH Statement on Annual Abortion Statistics for England and Wales 2022

Posted 23 May 2024

Date: 23 May 2024

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

Statistics published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) today show that the number of abortions during 2022 in England and Wales was 251, 377. This is the highest annual figure since the introduction of the Abortion Act 1967, and an increase of 17% on the previous year when the number of abortions was 214,256 in England and Wales.

The figures for 2022 show that 20.6 per 1,000 women had an abortion procedure - an increase from 2021 when the figure was 18.6 per 1,000 women. Abortion rates for those under 18 years continues to decrease – in 2022 it was 7.77 per 1,000 women (a slight rise on the figure of 6.4 women per 1,000 in 2021) but a significant reduction on the figure of 12.8 per 1,000 in 2012. The rate has also increased for those aged 35 or over (from 10.5 to 11.3 per 1,000 women between 2021 and 2022). The rise in abortions in England and Wales indicates a huge and rising unmet need for access to contraception, as well as other challenges that people face relating to the cost-of-living crisis. Although abortions are an essential aspect of healthcare, they are significantly more costly to the health service than the provision of contraception.

Dr Janet Barter, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), comments:

FSRH welcomes the release of the rates of abortion during 2022 by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID). Yet again, we see a continued rise in abortions in England and Wales. These figures demonstrate the challenges that many face in accessing contraception and accurate information when they need it.
FSRH demands that the Government implements its stated pledge to develop a national strategy for sexual and reproductive healthcare, and to redress the unnecessary fragmentation between SRH and women's health. FSRH will continue to work in partnership with organisations and individuals to advocate for achieving the goals of the Hatfield Vision that seeks to reduce women's health and SRH inequalities.

For further information, please contact: Rosie Ilett, External Affairs Support, at rilett@fsrh.org

Read OHID's statistics report at Abortion Statistics for England and Wales:2022

About FSRH The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care. It works with its 15,000 members to shape sexual reproductive health for all. It produces evidence-based clinical guidance, standards, training, qualifications and research into SRH. It also delivers conferences and publishes the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.