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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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Abortion rate in Scotland hits ten-year high

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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May 30, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — The number of abortions carried out in Scotland has reached its highest point in a decade, official statistics reveal. The data released today by NHS Scotland exposed the troubling spike in abortion rates, and has confirmed that 13,286 unborn babies were aborted in 2018 — an 8.9% rise from the 2017 statistics.

The Breakdown

The 2018 statistics reveal that:

  • 13,286 pregnant women aged 15–44 had an abortion, a rate of 12.9 per 1,000.
  • There was an increase of 1,074 abortions from the previous year. 
  • The highest abortion rate was amongst women aged 20-24 years, a rate of 21.3 per 1000.
  • Around a third of abortions were carried out in the mother's home through DIY abortion.
  • 11,482 unborn babies were killed by chemical abortion, and 1,848 by surgical abortion. 
  • 159 unborn babies were killed following diagnosis of a suspected disability.
  • Women from the most deprived areas accessed abortion services twice as often as women from the least deprived areas. 
  • In the past five years, the number of abortions has risen within all age groups of women except those under 20.

Disturbing Government Measures

Despite the soaring figures now reaching a ten-year high, the report commentary reveals, "It is not yet clear exactly which factors have led to the apparent increase in termination."

What is evident in the report is that the Scottish Government's dangerous DIY abortion policy has accounted for just under a third of all Scottish abortions. The policy, introduced in 2018 and legally challenged twice by SPUC Scotland, allows women to self- administer the abortion drug, misoprostol, at home without any medical supervision or assistance.

The report also exposes the Scottish Government's failure to support women throughout the country's most deprived regions.

SPUC Scotland Communications and Campaigns Director Michael Robinson said: "Women deserve better than abortion and the right to life must be defended for every person. Abortion rates for women in the most deprived areas in Scotland remain nearly twice as high as those from the least deprived areas. Society promotes abortion as a quick and easy fix for women facing unwanted pregnancy, but many post-abortive women will tell you that they had no choice at all. These rising figures reflect that tragedy. These women deserve support and care to help them with their pregnancy, free from coercion."

Catastrophic Failure

Mr Robinson continued: "This year's figures show a devastating increase in abortion numbers. The statistics reveal a catastrophic failure of the Scottish government's policy on abortion. We now have a ten-year high on abortion meaning 255 abortions every week. We know that every abortion has a devastating impact on so many people. It is inconceivable that so many abortions are not impacting on the already dreadful state of mental health in Scotland.

"The Scottish Government seem to be investing in creating more misery for the people of Scotland due to their failed policies and determination to increase the ease with which women can have abortions, even when that means carrying out abortions in their own homes.

"In 2018, nearly 30% of medical abortions involved self-administration of misoprostol or 'DIY' abortion. At SPUC we still maintain that 'DIY' abortion can be detrimental to the mental and physical well-being of women in our country. Women should not be facing the mental anguish that accompanies 'DIY' abortions, nor any abortion for that matter."

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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