LONDON, Sept 30 ( – Reacting to the news that the number of legal abortions carried out in England and Wales jumped by 4.3 per cent in 1998 to 187,402 Amanda Callaghan, publicity affairs manager of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said its not bad news. : “There is a much greater emphasis on the need for planned pregnancy and responsible parenting than at any other time,” she told BBC news. “So I don’t think we should be surprised when women – who take family responsibilities extremely seriously – feel that abortion is a positive step if they do not feel they can take on that responsibility.” 

The British Office for National Statistics noted that the abortion rate rose 4.8 per cent between 1997 and 1998 from 13.2 to 13.9 abortions for thousand women aged 14-49. Among young women, the rate increase was more dramatic. The rate for 16-19 year olds rose by 8.3 per cent from 24.5 to 26.5 abortions per thousand women.