The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed that a third (33.2 per cent) of all pregnancies among women in their early 20s end in abortion, marking an increase from 31.6 per cent in 2016.
The reasons for which women decide to have abortions are not recorded. However, since 2013 when local authorities became responsible for sexual health services, some experts believe that cuts to local authority budgets may provide some context as to why the rates are rising.
In 2017, Government figures indicated that there were 7,929 legal abortions for under 18-year-old girls and 59,956 among women aged 30 to 39.
The Advisory Group on Contraception revealed that almost half of councils in England had cut contraceptive services since the public health budget cuts in 2015.
As a result, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FSRH) reported that two thirds of local councils have cut their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) budget since 2016/17 and more than 8 million women of reproductive age are now living in an area where the council has reduced funding for SRH services.
Imogen Stephens, Medical Director at Marie Stopes UK, an international charity which provides abortions, said: “These figures come at a time when we know thousands of women across the UK are struggling to access contraceptive and sexual health services as a result of sustained funding cuts to the public health budget.
“Not only are services being shut down, but the remaining clinics often have long waiting lists. When women do manage to find a service, they may be denied the full range of contraception, including some of the most effective methods.
“Anything that limits access to contraception is enormously concerning. It’s vital that sexual health services are adequately funded so that women can continue to access the modern contraception they need to prevent an unplanned pregnancy.”
There are a wide range of different contraceptive options available for women and here at Harrow Health Care, we offer intrauterine device fittings, barrier methods, oral contraceptive and injectable Depot preparations.
If you want more information and advice on the contraceptive services we have available, get in touch with Harrow Health Care and click here: https://bit.ly/2SlIzNP