published on 29 May 2012
In a statement put out today by the sexual health charity FPA, Julie Bentley, Chief Executive, made the following comments about the new abortion statistics for 2011.
“Although there’s been a very slight increase, the number of abortions hasn’t changed significantly in the past few years and this is to be welcomed. However, we do know that cracks are beginning to appear in contraception services. Shockingly some parts of the NHS deliberately ban women from having certain contraceptive methods and there are over three million women who don’t have access to comprehensive services*. If we are going to bring down abortion numbers, this needs to change. Contraception is an essential not a luxury.”
Noting the doubling of the abortion rate since 1970 she said: “You would expect to see a difference if you compare abortion rates now to those in 1970. Abortion has rightfully become an integrated part of women’s healthcare as generations of British women have grown up knowing they can have a safe and legal abortion on the NHS.”
And welcoming the drop in abortions in under-18s she said:
“This clearly demonstrates that sexual health services and education programmes make a positive difference in the sexual health of young people. It’s a reminder to the government and local authorities to invest in the sexual health of the next generation so these numbers continue to decline.”
* Sex, lives, and commissioning: An audit of the commissioning of contraceptive and abortion services in England, published by the Advisory Group on Contraception, April 2012.
For further information please contact the FPA press office on 020 7608 5265. Mobile 07958 921060.
The sexual health charity FPA champions the importance of good sexual health for everyone. We educate, inform, support and campaign for people across the UK. The Family Planning Association is a registered charity, number 250187.