FIGURES from the Department for Health and Social Care for January to June this year show a 25 per cent rise in abortions in April, the first full month of lockdown, with 20,546 against 16,006 in April 2019. Although in May and June there were fewer abortions compared with the same months of 2019, 109,836 were carried out from January to June, a rise of more than 4,000 on the 105,540 over the first six months of last year. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a major abortion provider and state-subsidised charity, warned that in months to come it was possible that ‘we will see an increase in the number of women accessing abortion care due to the significant uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and the impact that has on women’s decision-making when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, as well as difficulties accessing contraception during this time’.
Significantly, BPAS failed to admit its own share of responsibility for this rise, especially in sending abortion pills through the post despite the risks involved – ‘abortion care’ in which there is no care, just abortion.
Abortion providers justified the ‘pills-by-post’ policy by saying that the pandemic would prevent women getting to abortion clinics; yet those clinics remained open throughout the pandemic, while the number of patients waiting more than a year to begin hospital treatment in England rose by 64 per cent between June and July.
Deputy chief executive of BPAS Clare Murphy commented: ‘These figures illustrate that access to abortion care has been one of the few healthcare success stories of this pandemic, with women able to obtain the help and support they need earlier in pregnancy. It’s absolutely clear this service protects women’s health and their reproductive choices, and must be retained once we emerge from this terrible pandemic.’
She was echoed by ‘women’s health charity’ Marie Stopes UK, whose highly-paid medical director Dr Jonathan Lord ‘welcomed the rapid switch to telemedicine’ and the ‘decision to allow both stages’ of the chemical abortion process to take place somewhere other than the abortion clinic, claiming that this measure had reduced ‘the already low complication rate even further. We hope the Government continues to stand with women and ensures this safe, effective and convenient service is made permanent’.
With such an enthusiastic approach to their work, abortion providers do not have to be prophets to foresee even more terminations in the future; if there were 109,836 abortions from January to June 2020 we may be looking at a total of around 220,000 for the whole year, far in excess of anything seen previously.
If, as those most closely involved in its provision claim, there is nothing wrong with abortion – if it is, as they insist, a vital health measure and essential for women’s equality – we should not worry whether we have a hundred, a thousand, or even a million abortions. The fact that there have been nine and a half million of them in this country since 1967 should be a matter not for mourning but for cracking open the champagne.
For women who actually have abortions there is nothing to celebrate. There will be no birthday cakes for the babies that have been aborted. And for some strange reason, rather than being a more equal, happy and successful society, we see more misery, inequality and deadly violence; most of all, we are fearful for our future – perhaps that is because we have turned killing the future into a way of life.