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Abortion Statistics

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

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    (e) the legal grounds under which the abortion was performed.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The statistically most likely candidate for an abortion for each of the variables listed is defined as the category with the highest recorded frequency of legal terminations. The percentages are based on all legal terminations performed in each of the last five years for which data are available in England and Wales, and Scotland on residents and non-residents.

The categories with the highest frequencies found in each of the variables, for each year between 1989-1993, are as follows:

Per cent. of all terminations
Years:19891990199119921993
(a) Marital status:
single women6767676767
(129,752)(132,781)(127,568)(121,856)(119,596)
(b) Age:
20-24 years3232323130
(62,559)(63,041)(60,257)(56,526)(53,959)
(c) Gestation of the pregnancy:
9-12 weeks5150515048
(98,811)(99,525)(97,583)(91,753)(86,711)
(d) The number of previous abortions undergone:
women who have had no previous legal terminations7877777675
(152,320)(152,156)(146,145)(138,841)(134,732)
(e) The legal grounds under which the abortion was performed:
Statutory Ground Two (until 31st March 1991) or Statutory Ground C (as from 1st April 1991)(1)8990858688
(173,783)(177,639)(161,911)(157,613)(157,825)

(1)Statutory Ground Two: "the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated". Statutory Ground C: "the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman".

References: 1989-1993 Abortions Statistics, England & Wales;

1989-1993 Scottish Health Statistics.


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