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Philippa Taylor

The number of women having several repeat abortions is shockingly high, and increasing

Philippa Taylor is Head of Public Policy at CMF. She has an MA in Bioethics from St Mary’s University College and a background in policy work on bioethics and family issues.


The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of CMF.

abortion2-croppedOne young woman, who had a first abortion at the age of age 18 and then another three by age 22, was interviewed on Radio 4 on Monday morning about how she felt having several abortions:

The first one, you don’t know what’s going to happen…you’re scared. Like, you’re anxious…but then once you’ve done that…it doesn’t make you feel that bad…it does get easier, the more you have. I know that sounds really bad but that’s how it is.

Her experience is all too common.

The following figures, set out by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health recently, are very disturbing.

In 2012 a total of 3,427 young women aged 18-24 were on their third abortion. In the same year, 602 young women were on their fourth abortion and 152 were having their fifth abortion. There were even 6 women, aged just 18-24, who had their seventh abortion in 2012.

Marie Stopes International (MSI) have today released similar findings from their own survey. Of 430 women aged 16-14 years that they interviewed, over a quarter, 27%, had had at least two or more abortions and 1% reported three previous abortions.

13 of the girls that MSI interviewed had had more than one abortion by the time they were just 18 years of age, and 50 girls had more than one abortion by age 21.

That current policy is failing to change teenage and youngsters’ behaviour is highlighted by such figures.

Figures for the number of abortions performed in England and Wales have remained stubbornly consistent despite every attempt by Government in recent years to reduce it. Earlier and earlier educational initiatives and the provision of free condoms and oral contraceptives through schools, youth clubs and higher education establishments have failed to make a dent in the numbers.

Most recently, as I’ve noted here before, NICE guidelines (backed by abortion ‘charities’) have gone a step further and proposed making available free emergency contraception, to include those under 16 years, without parental consent.

Can we really just blame poor contraception advice or lack of availability? The young woman interviewed on Radio 4 continued: ’I just think I was really careless…it was down to me…but I should have been more responsible because I’ve killed a life now, and it wasn’t that baby’s fault…’

Posted by Philippa Taylor
CMF Head of Public Policy

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