Abortion statistics, England and Wales: 2013: summary information from the abortion notification forms returned to the chief medical officers of England and Wales

Document type
Report
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Department of Health
Publisher
Department of Health
Date of publication
1 June 2014
Subject(s)
Health Services
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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This report sets out and comments on abortion statistics in England and Wales for 2013. For women resident in England and Wales, 2013:

  • The total number of abortions was 185,331. This was 0.1% more than in 2012 (185,122) and 2.1% more than in 2003 (181,582).
  • The age-standardised abortion rate was 15.9 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44. This was 0.8% lower than in 2012, and 4.7% lower than in 2003 (16.7); the lowest rate for 16 years.
  • The abortion rate was highest for women aged 22 (at 30 per 1,000). The highest rate in 2012 was for women aged 21 (at 31 per 1,000).
  • The under-16 abortion rate was 2.6 per 1,000 women and the under-18 rate was 11.7 per 1,000 women. Both lower than in 2012 (3.0 and 12.8 per 1,000 women respectively) and in the year 2003 (3.9 and 18.2 per 1,000 women respectively).
  • 98% of abortions were funded by the NHS. Of them, over half (64%) took place in the independent sector under NHS contract, up from 62% in 2012.
  • 91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation, 79% were at under 10 weeks compared to 77% in 2012 and 58% in 2003.
  • Medical abortions accounted for 49% of the total. This was slightly higher than in 2012 (48%), and 17% in 2003.
  • 2,732 abortions (1%) were carried out under ground E (risk that the child would be born handicapped).
  • In 2013, there were 5,469 abortions for non-residents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales (5,850 in 2012). The 2013 total is the lowest in any year since 1969.