Abortion in Scotland reaches a new high

28 August 2020

Official statistics released this week have revealed that abortions in Scotland in 2019 were recorded at 13,583 – the second highest number on record since abortion was legalised, and the highest rate since 2008. This was up 297 abortions from 2018.

The vast majority of abortions were performed due to ‘social reasons’ (Ground C), with a small number (211) taking place because the child had been diagnosed with a fetal abnormality.

The statistics also show a huge jump in abortions at home, from 29.9% in 2018 to 49.3% in 2019. Now that DIY at-home abortion is legal, this percentage is likely to jump higher for 2020.

The data also shows that half of all terminations in Scotland were carried out on women in their twenties, with a particularly strong link recorded between Scotland’s most deprived areas and abortion.

Repeat abortions were also up from 3.5 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2010 to 4.4 per 1,000 in 2019 – over a third of terminations last year were repeat abortions.

These trends can also be seen in the official statistics for abortions in England and Wales for 2019, which reached the highest number ever recorded since abortion was legalised in 1968.

Is European support for abortion falling?

This news comes as a new Ipsos MORI survey revealed that a growing number of people in Europe are opposed to abortion. The poll took in 17,500 people from 25 different countries.

Worldwide, 44% agreed that abortion “should be permitted whenever a woman decides she wants one,” and some 26% thought it “should be permitted under certain circumstances, such as if a woman has been raped.” This total of 70% in favour of abortion under some or any conditions is 2% lower than when the survey was first conducted in 2014. This drop in abortion support was particularly strong in some European nations: Germany, France and Spain saw a 9%, 6% and 5% drop respectively since 2014.

Great Britain, however, remains one of the most prominent supporters of abortion, with 83% of those surveyed supporting the idea of abortion. 67% said abortion should be allowed for any reason – a proportion only surpassed by Sweden. 16% of Brits thought abortion should only be permitted in certain circumstances, such as when the mother had been raped, and 4% said it should only be permitted if the mother’s life is in danger. Nevertheless, this also represents a 2% drop in abortion support since 2014.

Although some of these figures are within the poll’s margin for error, it is better to see support for any-reason abortion drop than go up.

Abortion becoming more dangerous

With the introduction of DIY at-home abortions in the UK, protections and safeguards for women have been ‘torn up’, says Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern.

Please continue to pray for the outcome of our legal challenge to DIY abortion. While numbers of abortions continue to rise, more vulnerable women and unborn children’s lives continue to be risked. We will continue to advocate for the lives of the most vulnerable until this practice is ended.

  • Share

Related articles

All content has been loaded.

Take action

Join our email list to receive the latest updates for prayer and action.

Find out more about the legal support we're giving Christians.

Help us put the hope of Jesus at the heart of society.