NHS figures show that women are having up to seven, eight or nine terminations in their lifetime, using abortion as a method of contraception. According to recent statistics, 5 out of 6 abortions in England and Wales were repeat abortions.
This worrying statistic showed that almost 100 of the women who came back for at least their second termination were under the age of 20 and single. Of the 950 repeat abortions, 787 were for unmarried women, of whom 545 were under the age of 30.
An abortion costs the NHS around £680 pounds. This means about £850,000 is spent by the NHS on repeat abortions a week in England and Wales. As this doesn’t include Scotland and Ireland, the figure would be brought up dramatically to £1million a week- a very worrying reality to the ongoing problem of sexuality in the UK.
Stuart Cowie, a spokesman for pressure group LIFE, an organisation that describes itself as the ‘the premier pro-life and family values campaigning organisation’ said:
‘These figures show that “no questions asked” abortion on demand trivialises the process so much that it is no longer seen as the last resort.
We would like to see more counselling offered to women, and more conversations in the classroom about responsibility.’
Cowie’s comment highlights the organisations thoughts that girls are not being taught the right way in schools about being a responsible adult, and that woman choosing to go to abortion clinics are not given the right type of counselling beforehand. The woman in question according to pressure group LIFE, don’t seem to be thinking about contraception before participating in sexual relationships, using abortion as their back-up method.
However, recent reports suggest that anti-abortion groups such as LIFE, Lovewise and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), have been targeting schools and education providers to try and 'influence' their teaching of young women to be pro-life. This apparently involved such organisations making false claims to women once they are invited to give lessons in schools on abortion and contraception. Pro-choice campaigners have repsonded by sending a letter to these orgsanisations stating:
"many of the claims these groups make are simply false. For example, there is no evidence that abortion can increase the risk of breast cancer or infertility; no evidence that hormonal contraception can cause an abortion; no evidence for a medical condition called ‘post abortion trauma’, or indeed that abortion causes more distress for women than carrying an unintended pregnancy to term"
It seems that special family planning programs need to be addressed in the UK to target groups at risk of unwanted pregnancy, particularly teenage pregnancy. Almost all secondary schools address sexuality and contraception but how they approach the subject differs between the school/national curriculum and the teacher involved. Positive campaigns towards contraceptive and the ability for teens to have wide access to contraceptive services are in place in the UK, so it is a question we need to be addressing as to why woman are using abortion as a plan B.
The advice included in the article is for information purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns please discuss these with your midwife, GP, or other medical professional.
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