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Abortion

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many early medical abortions were performed in England by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service at the request of the NHS on women who gave addresses in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the Republic of Ireland in each of the last four years, broken down by (i) the age of the woman and (ii) the length of gestation of the pregnancy; (269838)

(2) how many women who gave addresses in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the Republic of Ireland were referred by National Health Service GPs to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service for an abortion in each of the last four years for which figures are available, broken down by (i) age of the women and (ii) the length of gestation of the pregnancy in weeks.

None. Women travelling from Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland seeking an abortion at a British Pregnancy Advisory Service clinic in England, under the Abortion Act 1967, as amended, make their own arrangements and pay for their abortion privately.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the change in the rate of abortions performed in England on women with addresses in the Republic of Ireland between 2006 and 2007; and if he will make a statement. (269839)

No assessment has been made of the reasons behind the decrease in total abortions for non residents between 2006 and 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women aged (a) 18, (b) 17, (c) 16, (d) 15, (e) 14, (f) 13 and (g) 12 years old who gave addresses in (i) Northern Ireland and (ii) the Republic of Ireland who had an abortion in England in (A) 2006 and (B) 2007 had had (1) one, (2) two, (3) three, (4) four and (5) five or more previous abortions in England. (269840)

The information is shown in the following table. The information cannot be shown in the format requested for confidentiality reasons and has been provided in line with the Office for National Statistics’ guidance on the disclosure of abortion statistics (2005).

Abortions and repeat abortions1 in England and Wales to residents of Ireland aged under 19, 2006 and 2007

2006

2007

Residents of Northern Ireland

Age under 16

23

28

16

37

31

17

41

45

18

46

60

Total under age 19

147

164

Total repeat abortions

Residents of Northern Ireland

Age under 15

12

14

15

27

43

16

74

59

17

120

88

18

172

139

Total under age 19

405

343

Total repeat abortions

13

15

‘—’ Suppressed value less than 10 (between 0 and 9) for reasons of confidentiality in line with Office for National Statistics Guidance on release of abortion statistics, 2005.

1 Place of previous abortion is not collected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many abortions were performed in England under the Abortion Act 1967 on women who gave addresses in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the Republic of Ireland where the unborn child was suffering from cleft (i) palate and (ii) lip, broken down by (A) grounds for abortion, (B) the length of gestation in weeks and (C) the relevant health authority in each of the last 15 years. (269841)

There was no diagnosis code specifically for cleft lip and palate prior to 1995. In the 12 years between 1995 and 2007, there were fewer than 10 cases (between 0 and 9) where the principal medical condition for an abortion performed under section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act for residents of Ireland.1 Less than 1 per cent. of abortions for non residents are performed under section 1(1)(d).

1 Cases of less than 10 (between 0 and 9) are suppressed for reasons of confidentiality in line with the Office for National Statistics’ guidance on disclosure of abortion statistics (2005).

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many abortions were performed in England on women who gave addresses in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the Republic of Ireland in the latest year for which figures are available, broken down by type of procedure. (269846)

The information is shown in the following table.

Abortions in England and Wales to residents of Ireland by method, 2007

Northern Ireland

Irish Republic

Medical

69

154

Surgical

1,274

4,532

Total

1,343

4,686

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many abortions have been performed on women who gave addresses in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the Republic of Ireland under the provisions of the Abortion Act 1967 in the last 30 years; and how many and what percentage of these abortions were performed in an emergency to save the life of the mother. (269847)

In the 30 years between 1977 and 2007, there were 47,552 abortions performed in England and Wales on residents of Northern Ireland and 140,556 performed on residents of the Irish Republic. Less than 10 (between 0 and 9) of these were performed under section 1(4) of the Abortion Act, in an emergency to save the life of the mother.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer to the then hon. Member for Ilford, North of 16 July 1996, Official Report, columns 494-96, on abortion, what the characteristics were of the statistically most likely candidate in (a) England and (b) each health authority for an abortion in (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006 in terms of (A) the marital status of the woman, (B) the age of the woman, (C) the gestation of the pregnancy, (D) the number of previous children borne by the woman, (E) the number of previous abortions undergone by the woman and (F) the legal grounds under which the abortion was performed. (270593)

The information is shown in the following tables.

Most common1 conditions for women having abortions in 2006, by strategic health authority of residence

Marital status

Age

Gestation

Number of previous children

Number of previous abortions

Ground

England

Single with partner

20

7

0

0

2

East Midlands

Single with partner

21

8

0

0

2

East of England

Single with partner

21

8

0

0

2

London

Single with partner

24

7

0

0

2

North East

Single with partner

21

8

0

0

2

North West

Single no partner

19

8

0

0

2

South Central

Single with partner

19

7

0

0

2

South East Coast

Single with partner

19

7

0

0

2

South West

Single with partner

19

8

0

0

2

West Midlands

Single no partner

21

8

0

0

2

Yorkshire and Humber

Single with partner

19

8

0

0

2

Most common1 conditions for women having abortions in 2005, by strategic health authority of residence

Marital status

Age

Gestation

Number of previous children

Number of previous abortions

Ground

England

Single no partner

20

8

0

0

2

East Midlands

Single with partner

20

8

0

0

2

East

Single with partner

20

8

0

0

2

London

Single no partner

24

7

0

0

2

North East

Single with partner

19

8

0

0

2

North West

Single no partner

20

8

0

0

2

South East

Single no partner

20

7

0

0

2

South West

Single no partner

20

8

0

0

2

West Midlands

Single no partner

20

8

0

0

2

Yorkshire and Humber

Single with partner

19

8

0

0

2

1 Statistical mode (highest frequency).

2 That the pregnancy has not exceeded its 24th week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.