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Abortion

Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 25 March 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government for each of the last three years for which figures are available, how many abortions were performed in (a) England and Wales, and (b) Scotland; how many were performed in National Health Service hospitals; how many in private hospitals; what was the cost of performing abortions in National Health Service hospitals and in private hospitals; what was the total number of abortions performed under the Abortion Act 1967; and, of those, how many were performed to save the life of the mother. [HL2275]

The available information is shown in the following tables.

Costs to the National Health Service for abortions performed in NHS hospitals in England are set out in the table below. The department does not hold complete data on the cost to the NHS for abortions performed in the independent sector under NHS contract and does not hold data on the cost of privately funded abortions.

Year

National total cost of medical and surgical terminations undertaken by NHS organisations (Schedule 4 of national reference costs)

2006-07

£62,886,000

2005-06

£78,588,000

2004-05

£67,637,000

Source: Schedule 4 (NHS Trusts and PCTs combined) of the national schedule of reference costs

Notes:

1. The figures in the table above represent the number of Finished Consultant Episodes (FCEs) multiplied by the national average unit cost.

2. National average unit costs are calculated on a weighted basis.

3. Schedule 4 2006-07 data are not directly comparable to 2005-06 and 2004-05 due a change in the data collection.

4. Figures have not been adjusted for the market forces factor.

The cost of abortions performed in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government. Data on, and cost of, abortions performed in Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Government.

Abortions: totals, rates and by purchaser, residents, England and Wales, 2005 – 2007

Rate per 1,000 women residents aged 15-44

Purchaser

Year

Total

ASR*

Crude

NHS

NHS agency

Non-NHS

2005

186,416

17.8

17.0

74,744

82,518

29,154

2006

193,737

18.3

17.5

75,328

92,494

25,915

2007

198,499

18.6

17.9

75,518

100,195

22,786

* Age-standardised rates (ASR).

Rates for all women residents age-standardised to the European population for ages 15-44.

Total abortions to save the life of the mother *, residents of England and Wales, 2005-07

Section 1(4)

Section 1(1)(c)

%

Total all abortions

2005

-

1281

0.07

186,416

2006

-

1491

0.08

193,737

2007

-

1121

0.06

198,499

* Grounds under the Abortion Act 1967.

Section 1(4) that the termination is immediately necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.

Section 1(1)(c) that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.

- suppressed value less than 10 (between 0-9) in line with the Office for National Statistics' guidance on the disclosure of abortion statistics (2005).

1 total includes suppressed values.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the abortion rates per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in (a) England and Wales, and (b) Scotland, in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [HL2276]

The available information is shown in the following table.

Abortions : totals and rates, residents, England and Wales, 2005-07

Rate per 1,000 women residents aged 15-44

Year

Total

Age-standardised rate (ASR)*

Crude

2005

186,416

17.8

17.0

2006

193,737

18.3

17.5

2007

198,499

18.6

17.9

* Rates for all women residents age-standardised to the European population for ages 15-44

Data on abortions performed in Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Government.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many abortions were performed under the Abortion Act 1967 in each of the past 15 years, broken down by (a) grounds for abortion, (b) length of gestation, and (c) health authority in Scotland, where the unborn child was suffering from (1) cleft palate, and (2) cleft lip. [HL2279]

The information is shown in the following table for abortions performed in England and Wales since 1995.

Prior to 1995, the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems codes did not include cleft lip and/or palate. For 1995 onwards, abortions with a principal medical condition of cleft lip or cleft palate are coded together as cleft lip and/or palate.

Data cannot be broken down by gestation or health authority for confidentiality reasons in line with the Office for National Statistics' guidance on the disclosure of abortion statistics (2005). All abortions shown were performed under Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967, that there is substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped. 2008 statistics are due to be published in spring 2009.

Data on abortions performed in Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Government.

Abortions performed under Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967, with a principal medical condition of cleft lip and/or palate by gestation, residents of England and Wales, 1995-2007

Total cleft lip and/or palate

All gestations

24+ weeks

1995

6

0

1996

5

0

1997

5

0

1998

5

0

1999

3

0

2000

9

0

2001

2

1

2002

1

0

2003

111

-

2004

111

-

2005

111

-

2006

-

-

2007

-

-

- suppressed value less than 10 (between 0 and 9). From 2003 onwards, totals of less than 10 are suppressed for reasons of confidentiality in line with the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) guidance on the disclosure of abortion statistics (2005).

1 For years 2003, 2004 and 2005, some of the principal medical conditions for abortions performed under Section 1(1)(d) had to be suppressed as the totals for each single year were too small to release. In the three years 2003-05, there were 11 cases with a principal medical condition of the congenital malformation cleft lip and/or cleft palate.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will take account of the effects of the Hyde Amendment on federal funding of abortion in the United States in preparing future partial regulatory impact assessments of legislation relating to termination of pregnancy. [HL2280]

Only legislation pertaining to the laws governing abortion in Great Britain will be considered as part of any future partial regulatory impact assessment of legislation relating to the termination of pregnancy. We have no plans to change the law on abortion.