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New data reveals a decrease in the teenage abortion rate

Date:22 MAY 2009

The Department of Health has published the 2008 abortion statistics which show that the under-16 abortion rate was 4.2 and the under-18 rate was 18.9 per 1,000 women, both lower than in 2007.

Overall, in 2008, for women residents in England and Wales, the total number of abortions was 195,296, compared with 198,499 in 2007, a fall of 1.6%.

The highest abortion rate was seen among 19-year-olds with 36 per 1,000 women.

The number of abortions performed on women who had been through the procedure before has risen slightly over recent years with a third of abortions carried out on women who have already had one.

A greater proportion of terminations took place earlier on in pregnancy, with 73 per cent carried out between three and nine weeks' gestation.

The drop in the teenage abortion rate was welcomed by sexual health agency Marie Stopes International, which carries out abortions.

Liz Davies, Director UK & Europe of Marie Stopes International said: "We are particularly pleased to see the reduction in the teenage abortion rate which suggests that the Government's strategy is having a real impact. We are pleased that those teenagers who have aspirations other than motherhood appear to be protecting themselves against unintended pregnancy."