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Number of abortions in England and Wales decreases

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The number of abortions in England and Wales has fallen, according to government statistics.

In 2008, there were 195,296 abortions compared with 198,499 in 2007, a fall of 1.6%.

The Department of Health figures show the age-standardised abortion rate was 18.2 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, compared with 18.6 in 2007.

Rates for women aged 19 remained the same, at 36 per 1,000 but the under-16 abortion rate for under 16 fell to 4.2 per 1,000 women.

More than nine out of ten (91%) were funded by the NHS and of more than half (58%) took place in the independent sector under NHS contract.

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