55th anniversary of Abortion Act coming into effect, 10,135,618 lives lost since 1967

By Right to Life UK

Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Abortion Act coming into effect in 1968 – 6 months after it received Royal Assent.  

Since then, a staggering 10,135,618* unborn babies have lost their lives to abortion across England, Wales, and Scotland — in 2021, more than one baby was lost to abortion every two and a half minutes; 26 lives were ended every hour.

The number of abortions in England and Wales has reached a record high with 214,869 taking place in 2021, while 13,758 terminations were performed in Scotland in the same year.

This significant rise in abortions in England and Wales has accompanied the first full year that ‘DIY’ home abortion services have been operating in England and Wales. Since ‘DIY’ home abortions were introduced, a number of significant problems have arisen.

Abortion statistics released by the Department of Health and Social Care show that in England and Wales, there was a total of 214,869 abortions in 2021, an increase of 4,009 abortions from 2020 when there were 210,860 abortions. This is the highest ever number on record.

Opinion polls repeatedly show that the public wants increased protections for unborn babies and more support for mothers facing unplanned pregnancies – rather than the wholesale removal of legal safeguards around abortion.

Only 1% of the population want abortion to be available up to birth and 70% of women want the abortion limit to be reduced to 20 weeks or lower.

Polling from 2019 revealed that over 41% of Londoners believe abortion should be illegal in almost all circumstances.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“The UK’s abortion law is failing both women and unborn babies. It is a national tragedy that 10,135,618 lives have been lost since the 1967 Abortion Act came into effect, each one a unique and valuable human being who was denied the right to life.

“Every one of these abortions represents a collective failure of our society to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies.

“While we may pause to commemorate this tragedy, this day also serves as a call to action for people around the country to renew their efforts to do everything they can to help ensure more lives are saved from abortion in the future. 

“This includes contacting MPs and asking them to ensure that protections for unborn babies are introduced and safeguards are strengthened to protect both mothers and babies – along with volunteering with pregnancy support centres and undertaking other pro-life activities that support mothers and their children in pregnancy and beyond.

“By being proactive and taking action, every single one of us can be part of building a pro-life nation where we protect and defend the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death.”