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Statement on 2018 abortion statistics

13 June 2019 Press release

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    Media statement


    London, 13 June 2019 – If you are covering the 2018 Abortion Statistics for England and Wales from the Department of Health and Social Care, you may find the following statement and summary from Marie Stopes UK helpful.


    • In 2018, there were 200,608 abortions for women resident in England and Wales. This is an increase of 4% since 2017.
    • The under 18 abortion rate for 2018 is 8.1 per 1,000: less than half the 2008 rate of 18.9 per 1,000.
    • The abortion rate for women aged 35 or over is 9.2 per 1,000 in 2018. This has increased from a rate of 6.7 per 1,000 in 2008.
    • 9 out of 10 abortions were carried out under 13 weeks.
    • In 2018, there were 1,053 abortions for women from Northern Ireland, an increase of 192 from 2017.


    Imogen Stephens Marie Stopes UK’s Medical Director said: 

    “These figures come at the same time as we are hearing stories from women that they have become pregnant while trying to access effective contraception. Today, more than eight million women of reproductive age live in an area where the council has reduced funding for sexual and reproductive health services, leading to the closure of clinics and longer waiting lists. When women do manage to find a service, they may be denied the full range of contraception, including some of the most effective methods.

    “Overall, abortion rates are increasing among older women, while rates for younger women are falling. This illustrates that women need access to good contraception services across their reproductive lifetimes, from the point at which they become sexually active right through to their menopause.

    “It is shameful that in 2018, more than 1,000 women from Northern Ireland are still being forced to travel to England to access abortion care, including those who have become pregnant as a result of rape or incest or whose foetus has no chance of survival outside of the womb. Many more women are unable to travel and have no option but to risk prosecution by ordering pills online or continuing a pregnancy they do not want. Marie Stopes UK calls on the UK government to stop this suffering and ensure Northern Irish women are finally afforded the caring and compassionate services they deserve.”

    - Ends -

    For further information please contact:

    Email:     /

    Telephone:      020 7034 2377/ 07769 166 516

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