A record number of women in England and Wales had an abortion last year, with an increase especially in women aged 30 and over.
A total of 209,917 abortions were reported in 2020, with an increase from year to year by compared to 207,384 in 2019. The increases onThe highest abortion rates by age were among women aged 30 to 34 with an increase from 16.5 per 1,000 in 2010 to 21.9 in 2020.
Experts attribute the numbers to the fact that women can seek abortion treatment at home during the pandemic and also the data financial uncertainty which meant women had to make "tough decisions ".
Claire Murphy, Managing Director of British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “The increase in number is explained by an increase in the number of women over 30 years of age requiring abortion care, and may also reflect the fact that due to early abortion at home becomes legal, women no longer need to ask for assistancefrom outside regulated providers.
She added, "But the pandemic has clearly had an impact on women's pregnancy choices and that is reflected in the numbers. Faced with economic uncertainty, job insecurity, and the need to juggle home schooling and work, women and their partners have at times made difficult decisions in the face of an unplanned pregnancy. .
"It is not surprising to see the proportion of women who already have children seeking abortions increasing in this context as well as the increase in the rate of pregnancy. Abortion in older women, which may also illustrate problems accessing contraception during this period.
In March 2020, the UK and Welsh governments approved home use of mifepristone, the first drug used for medical abortion precent. This meant that early medical abortion care could be delivered to eligible people remotely, via a virtual consultation.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that the latest data showed this new route had become "the norm, with 46% of all procedures in England being delivered via telemedicine, and 62% of all procedures in Wales".
In April 2020, the RCOG urged the government and decentralized countries to introduce the necessary regulatory changes to allow both early medical abortion drugs to be taken at home. said it helped reduce transmission of the coronavirus, reduced the average length of pregnancies at the time of treatment, and reduced wait times.
Dr Edward Morris, President of the CollegeThe Royal Obstetricians and Gynecologists said: “Throughout the pandemic, early medical abortion has been redesigned to adopt a new model of virtually delivered care. This has helped reduce the transmission of the coronavirus, keep women and their families safe, and support the provision of essential health care.
" data released today shows that not only has this contributed to our efforts to deal with the pandemic but has provided significant benefits for women by increasing access and reducing uptime expectation, allowing women to receive care earlier in their pregnancy. "
Under-18 abortion rates have declined over the years. Last 10 years, from 16.5 per 1,000 women in 2010 to6.9 per 1,000 in 2020. The decline since 2010 is particularly marked in the under-16 age group, where the rates have fallen from 3.9 per 1,000 women in 2010 to 1.2 to 1 000 women in 2020.