Statistics published annually by the Department of Health indicate that, overall, the abortion rates in England and Wales remain stable. As many abortions result from difficulties in accessing and/or using contraception, these figures continue to be indicative of a likely unmet need for contraception.
Whilst a focus on young people’s access to contraception is vital, FSRH is concerned by the continuing trend for an increase in abortion rates in women over 25. FSRH therefore reiterates its call to health and social care leaders to ensure consistent and clear messaging for women of all ages regarding their right to contraception.
Jane Hatfield, FSRH Chief Executive, said:
“The release of the abortion statistics by the Department of Health comes at a time when women’s rights to access safe, high-quality abortion services could be jeopardised by the Conservative Party’s proposed alliance with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), known for its regressive anti-abortion stance.
FSRH is concerned that the trends seen in these annual abortion statistics in recent years reflect an increasing, unmet need for contraceptive care in women beyond teenage years. This Government has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to equality of care for all by making progressive changes to abortion law, including in Northern Ireland. We would welcome a commitment from the Government to work with our members to support them to improve access to all forms of contraception, including long-acting reversible contraceptives, strengthening post-pregnancy contraceptive services and ensuring that women receive the contraceptive and abortion care they need.”
Read the statement in full below