Rise in UK abortion figures “prompt us to ask critical questions of our society,” says Lead Bishop for Life issues

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have expressed their deep concerns after yet another annual rise in the UK abortion figures.

The figures for 2021, released this week by The Department of Health and Social Care, show that 214,869 abortions took place in England and Wales in 2021, up by more than 4000 since 2020. This is at a record high, since the Abortion Act 1967 came into force.

43% of these were repeat abortions. 3370 were on the grounds of disability, including 859 babies with Down Syndrome and 40 babies with cleft lip or palate. Women living in the most deprived areas of England were more than twice as likely to have abortions than women living in the least deprived areas.

The full report can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics

Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues, described each abortion as “a tragic loss of human life”.

“As these figures continue to rise significantly each year, they disturb our consciences and prompt us to ask critical questions of our society,” said Bishop Sherrington.

“The trends point to a lack of support for pregnant women though we thank those charities and groups which provide excellent assistance. They are one of the building blocks needed to create a culture of welcome which upholds the dignity of life. We also see attempts to protect the unborn child with disability through changes in legislation.

“We call for all of society to celebrate life as a gift. We continue to pray and work for better legal protections for pregnant women and the child in the womb.”