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MSI Reproductive Choices Comment on 2022 Abortion Statistics for England and Wales

Press releases  •  23 May 2024  • 3 min read

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London, 23rd May 2024

If you are covering today’s new abortion statistics for England and Wales released by the Department of Health and Social Care, please find the following statement and summary from leading abortion provider MSI Reproductive Choices.

Latest abortion statistics for England and Wales show that in 2022:

  • There were 251,377 abortions performed on residents of England and Wales, this compares with 214,869 in 2021 – an increase of 17%.
  • There has been an increase in the crude abortion rates for all ages 19 and above from 2012 to 2022.
  • The largest increases in abortion rates from 2012 to 2022 by age are among those aged 25 to 29, increasing from 21.8 per 1,000 to 31.4 per 1,000.
  • Over the last 10 years, the proportion of abortions performed at under 10 weeks has increased from 77% in 2012 to 88% in 2022.
  • Medical abortions accounted for 86% of abortions. This compares with 87% of abortions in 2021.
  • Taking both medications at home is the most common procedure, accounting for 61% of all abortions in 2022 – an increase of 9 percentage points since 2021.
  • In 2022, there were 745 abortions to women recorded as residing outside England and Wales – an increase from 613 in 2021. Most non-residents came from the Irish Republic (27%), Scotland (24%) and Northern Ireland (23%).

Sarah Salkeld, UK Associate Clinical Director, MSI Reproductive Choices, commented:

“The figures announced today show abortion continues to rise at a record rate. Despite greater demand, we have worked hard to ensure that more women are able to access care early in their pregnancy. This is in large part due to the option of having their abortion in the privacy and comfort of their own home through the telemedicine service.

“Today’s figures only show the tip of the iceberg. At MSI, we have seen numbers continue to rise, with 27% more people turning to us for abortion care in 2023 and a further 22% increase in the first quarter of this year. There is rarely one isolated reason why someone needs or chooses abortion but we do know that the combination of the cost of living crisis and lack of access to contraception is playing a bigger role in these decisions. Accurate, non-stigmatising information is also crucial, especially for younger people, which is why inclusive, evidence-based sex and relationships education is more important than ever.

“With so many women around the country experiencing inadequate access to contraception, it’s no surprise that abortion figures are rising. Greater demand and finite resources for GPs and sexual health clinics are leaving women at risk of unintended pregnancy at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet. These pressures disproportionately impact those on the lowest incomes, meaning those hardest hit by the cost of living crisis are often more likely to experience an unintended pregnancy in the first place.

“And it’s not only women who are struggling to access reproductive healthcare. Demand for vasectomy is also rising. At MSI we have seen a 29% increase in 2023. Yet nationally services are underfunded, overstretched and NHS access is a postcode lottery.”

The full statistics are online here.

MSI data is below:

  • MSI UK saw 27% more abortion clients in 2023 and a further 22% increase in the first quarter of 2024.
  • MSI UK saw a 29% increase in vasectomy appointments in 2023.

For more information, please email press@msichoices.org or call 07769 166516


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