Shock on abortion rates

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CALDERDALE has the second highest rate of abortions in our region, new figures show.

In 2010, 19.7 women per 1,000 in Calder- dale had an abortion.

That puts our area second to Doncaster, where last year 20.6 women per 1,000 had a legal abortion.

Calderdale has the highest rate, per thousand, in two of five age groups.

The highest rates were for women aged between 18 and 19 who had 43 per 1,000 abortions and those in the 20 to 24 age group, where there were 36 abortions per 1,000, putting Calderdale joint with Doncaster.

In Calderdale, 78 under-18s had an abortion and 101 women aged between 18 and 19 had terminations.

The highest number in Calderdale was in the 20 to 24 age bracket, where the total number of abortions was 209.

Women over 35 had 93 abortions in 2010.

The average UK-wide rate was 17.5 abortions per 1,000 women, putting Calderdale above the national average.

In Calderdale 78 per cent of all NHS funded abortions took place under 10 weeks with 14 per cent taking place between 10 and 12 weeks. The remaining eight per cent took place after 13 weeks.

In total there were 713 proceedures carried out in Calderdale.

The report, from the Department of Health, shows the number of women having abortions in Britain has increased by 0.3 per cent compared to the year before.

Dr Graham Wardman, Director of Public Health at NHS Calderdale, said: “It is important that we support women in Calderdale to be able to make an informed choice.

“Although the rate of abortion in Calderdale is slightly higher than 2009, the actual number of abortions is much the same.  The rate of repeat abortions is lower than the England rate.”

“Nearly 80 per cent of women in Calderdale who decide to terminate a pregnancy do so under nine weeks from conception; this is in line with the England average.

“We will need to continue to ensure there is a full range of good quality preventive, sexual health and maternity services available to our residents. We will continue to provide information and support needed to help people consider their options and make choices at difficult times,” he said.