In the past 10 years the abortion rate has remained relatively stable in England and Wales. For younger women the rate has declined slightly. In 2011 the abortion rate was highest for women aged 20, the same as in 2010 and in 2001. The under 16 abortion rate was 3.4 per 1,000 women and the under 18 rate was 15.0 per 1,000 women, both lower than in 2010 and 2001. The proportion of abortions taking place early in pregnancy has increased significantly over the last ten years because there have been significant improvements in access to abortion. Recent research however has suggested that ‘abortion negativity’ may make it difficult for pregnant teenagers to have an abortion, even when they are certain that they do not want to become mothers. In some minority ethnic communities abortion may be seen as preferable to unmarried motherhood. Teenagers from socially deprived backgrounds are more likely to become pregnant and less likely to terminate pregnancies than those who are more privileged.
301. Department of Health (2012). Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2011, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213386/Commentary1.pdf
302. Public Health England Sexual Health Profiles and Index, http://www.hpa.org.uk/sexualhealthprofiles
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