2020 set to see highest number of abortions thanks to DIY home service

10 September 2020

New statistics released by the Department of Health and Social Care today suggest that 2020 is set to see the highest number of abortions ever in England and Wales.

Figures for January to June 2020 show that 109,836 abortions were performed in the first half of this year; 4,296 more than in 2019 for the same period.

Recently-released statistics for 2019 showed the highest number of recorded abortions ever for England and Wales, with 209,519 performed over the whole year. Similarly, statistics for Scotland recently revealed that the UK nation had seen the second highest abortion rate on record in 2019.

The significant rise in figures coincides with the government’s introduction of the controversial DIY home abortion scheme, brought in on 30 March. The Mirror recently reported that up to 90,000 women have used the DIY abortion service over lockdown, although no source was given to back up these figures. However, the new statistics show that following lockdown and the introduction of the service, the month of April saw 4,500 more abortions compared to the same month in 2019.

Judicial review outcome expected

Christian Concern is still awaiting the outcome of a judicial review challenging the government’s decision to allow the DIY telemedicine service.

At the Court of Appeal hearing in July, judges refused to consider astounding evidence that suggests women are dying and experiencing serious harm due to DIY abortion. Evidence released at the Court of Appeal in July included full details of an undercover investigation as well as a leaked email from an NHS midwife which states that there are no less than 13 incidents under investigation. These include a murder investigation into the death of a baby aborted alive, two maternal deaths, and abortion pills being delivered to a woman 22 weeks over the legal limit for home abortion.

Abortion provider BPAS had also announced that it was investigating a further eight cases of women taking ‘DIY’ home abortion pills beyond the 10-week limit, raising questions over what checks are being used to ensure the law isn’t being broken and dangerous later-term abortions aren’t happening.

The government has announced that it will be launching a consultation on whether to end this temporary measure, but last week announced that it has plans to make DIY abortion a permanent fixture in the UK.

Service open to abuse

Commenting on the latest figures, Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said: “The massive increase in abortions so far this year is tragic and leaves us with many unanswered questions.

“What we do know is that there have been several cases where the service has been abused and caused illegal and late term abortions.

“Despite the statistics presenting that abortions are taking place earlier, the fact is, nobody knows. BPAS’s Pills by Post scheme has no way of verifying the age of the pre-born baby by ultrasound or even by observing the size of any bump.

“The abortion industry is also unable and unwilling to identify signs of abuse and coercion.

“These statistics demonstrate that it is time for the government to roll back this dangerous service that has been proven to cross legal boundaries.”

Find out more about DIY abortions
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