FSRH statement: Public Health Scotland releases 2022 termination of pregnancy statistics
Date: 02 Jun 2023
Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements
Recent statistics published by Public Health Scotland (PHS) show that the number of terminations in Scotland between 2021 and 2022 rose by almost a fifth (19%). This increase was found in the four age groups between 16 and 34 years; for those aged between 16 to 19 years this follows fourteen years of falling rates.
The data reveals various inequalities that are linked to the ability to easily access sexual and reproductive healthcare, including termination services. Increased number of terminations occurred across all socio-economic groups but was less pronounced for those in the least deprived areas. Those living in the most deprived areas were more than twice as likely to have a termination compared to those from least deprived areas during the reporting period.
There were increased self-reports by those having a termination of having had one or more previous terminations and this was more evident amongst women in less deprived areas. Nevertheless, women in areas of socio-economic deprivation were almost three times more likely to self-report a previous termination than those from the least deprived areas. Besides this, two-thirds (67%) of Black and Caribbean women self-reported a previous termination compared to 42% of White women.
The data also revealed inequalities related to geography in that women living in more deprived areas and remote rural areas were less likely to have an early termination (less than nine weeks gestation) compared to those in less deprived areas and in accessible rural and urban areas.
Dr Sinead Cook, Chair of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare’s (FSRH) Scotland Committee said:
“FSRH welcomes the annual abortion figures recently released by Public Health Scotland (PHS) covering 2021 – 2022. It is critical that sexual and reproductive health services including both contraception and abortion services are accessible to all women across Scotland who need them.
"The increase in the number of younger women in Scotland who are having abortions is significant. We live in a world where social media has an all-encompassing influence on many young people and FSRH continues to advocate for access to, and availability of, contraception and accurate information to ensure that informed choices can be made across all life stages.”
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Notes to Editors
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the leader in the field of sexual and reproductive healthcare, and we are the voice for professionals working in this area. As a multi-disciplinary professional membership organisation, we set clinical guidance and standards, provide training and lifelong education, and champion safe and effective sexual and reproductive healthcare across the life course for all.