Five TEENAGERS are among 700 women who have had at least six abortions in Britain, figures show
- Official figures revealed further 148 people underwent eighth abortion in 2018
- Charities said it’s ‘extremely alarming’ and vulnerable women were being failed
- Last year law change across UK allowed early abortion pills to be taken at home
Five teenagers are among more than 700 women to have had at least six abortions in Britain, data shows.
Official figures revealed a further 148 women across the UK underwent at least their eighth termination in 2018 – up by a quarter in two years.
Anti-abortion campaigners said the figures were ‘alarming’ and said the rise was due to law changes which allow early abortion pills to be taken at home.
Pro-choice charity Marie Stopes UK hit back at the criticism, saying there is no right or wrong number of abortions.
Official figures revealed a further 148 women across the UK underwent at least their eighth termination in 2018 – up by a quarter in two years
Five teenagers are among more than 700 women to have had at least six abortions in Britain, shocking data shows (file)
Up until last year, women had to take termination tablets in a clinic or hospital 24 to 48 hours apart, supervised by a nurse.
This often led women to suffer cramps or bleeding on their way home, sometimes on public transport.
But pro-life campaigners have claimed it has fuelled ‘DIY’ abortions and suggested it is now easier for abuse to slip under the radar.
Antonia Tully, director of campaigns at The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said the figures highlighted a ‘betrayal’ of vulnerable women.
She told Sky News: ‘A woman seeking her seventh or eighth abortion could easily be in an abusive situation where she is being repeatedly coerced into having an abortion.
‘Alarm bells should be ringing loudly when teenage girls are having repeat abortions.
‘Is anyone asking questions about why a teenager, possibly underage, keeps presenting for abortion?
‘This is a massive betrayal of vulnerable women and girls who need help not abortions.’
Ms Tully added that women have been left to suffer in silence alone at home. She added: ‘This harmful policy ignores the evidence that women aborting at home, often alone, can be left with serious mental health problems.’
Freedom of Information requests revealed there were 205,295 terminations carried out in Britain last year, up by 11 per cent from 2016.
Data from the Department of Health and NHS Scotland showed 84,258 of these were repeat terminations – 3,332 of which were performed on teenagers.
Twenty-three teenagers were among 4,389 women to have their fourth termination in 2018.
Meanwhile 718 women, including five teens, had at least their sixth abortion in 2018, a third more than in 2016.
And 143 women had their eighth or more abortion last year, a 27 per cent rise from 2016.
Dr Caroline Gazet, clinical director at abortion charity Marie Stopes UK said: ‘For the few women who do need [eight or more abortions], we need to focus on where they are being failed and how we can help them rather than stigmatising their choice.
‘We have also found that some women seeking more than one abortion, were in violent or controlling relationships, which contributed to their decision to end a pregnancy.
‘There is no right number of abortions and the reasons women choose to have them are deeply personal and vary widely.’
A Scottish government spokesman said: ‘We believe all women in Scotland should have access to clinically safe and legal abortion services.
‘It is our view that abortion care should be part of standard healthcare provisions, free from stigma.
‘NHS Boards always speak to patients having a termination about contraception options.’
A Department of Health spokeswoman said it was unable to comment ‘given the pre-election period’.