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Abortion numbers rise in England and Wales

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There has been a slight rise in the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales, official figures show.

Some 189,574 abortions were carried out in 2010, up 0.3% on the 189,100 in 2009 and 8% more than in 2000 (175,542).

These abortions were to women living in England and Wales. Another 6,535 were to non-residents.

The last time there was a rise in the total number of abortions was between 2006 and 2007.

Half of abortions (49%) in 2010 were to women with partners, while 26% were to single women and 16% of abortions occurred within marriages.

Some 3,718 were to girls under 16 (slightly down on the previous year), 12,742 were to those aged 16 and 17, and 21,809 were to girls aged 18 and 19.

Some 27,046 abortions were among women aged 35 and over.

In total, 64,303 procedures were to women who had undergone at least one abortion previously.

Of these, 1,201 abortions were among girls under 18 who had opted for one previously, while 79 were to girls who had undergone two or more.

Dr Paula Franklin, director of clinical development at Marie Stopes International, said: “Although the numbers are similar to those of 2009, we are surprised not to see a further decrease in the number of abortions across England and Wales.”

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