This article appears in the November 2000 edition of the Catholic Medical Quarterly
Annual Abortion Scores
The number of abortions performed in England and Wales fell last year, according to figures published last week. There were 183,250 legal abortions, a fall of 4,152 (2.2%) compared with 1998. The Annual Reference Volume of abortion statistics was published by the Office of National Statistics. The overall abortion rate for women residents in England and Wales in 1999 was 13.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 14-19, 2.6% lower than in 1998 when the rate was 13.9% per 1,000. Abortion rates fell in all age groups last year. The rate fell by 2% for women in their 20's and 3% for women aged under 20 and for those aged 30 and over. Eighty nine per cent of abortions were performed before 13 weeks gestation, and ten per cent between 13 and 19 weeks gestation, both the same as last year. In 1999, 6,226 women giving addresses in the Irish republic, travelled to England and Wales for an abortion, six per cent more than in 1998.