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26th Jun 2022

Abortions at record high – with cost of living and job insecurity partly to blame

Trine Jensen-Burke

A record number of abortions took place in England and Wales last year.

The trend, experts said, was driven by financial uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to The Guardian, 214,869 terminations took place in 2021, with the most pronounced rise being among women aged 30-34.

And while numbers have been going up since 2016, this is the highest number since the procedure became legal in Great Britain through the 1967 Abortion Act.

Speaking about the last figures, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), Clare Murphy, explains:

“The pandemic, and the policies adopted by the government in response, have had a clear impact on women’s pregnancy choices.”

She added:

“Faced with economic uncertainty and job insecurity, women and their partners have been making sometimes tough decisions around continuing or ending a pregnancy.”

‘The number will keep rising’

According to the figures, the age group having the most abortions is 30-34-year-olds, while women under 18 are having fewer abortions than ever.

In women over 35, the rates are stable from what we have seen before, and a growing number of women who were having a termination were already mothers.

“The number will keep rising,” explains said Jonathan Lord, the medical director of MSI Reproductive Choices.

“The data shows abortion is an essential choice, and with continuing problems accessing contraception coupled with the cost of living crisis, we would not be surprised to see greater demand over the coming months.”