Just 6 in every 100,000 abortions being performed in England and Wales were undertaken to save the mother from a life-threatening situation, a new report has found. That means in 99.994 percent of abortions the baby was terminated even though the mother's life was not immediately at risk.
The new report issued by the British government highlights the alarming number of legal abortions conducted over recent decades with with only a tiny fraction being conducted to save the life of the mother.
According to the figures, which were produced in response to a Parliamentary Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool, there were 6.4 million abortions performed on residents of England and Wales between 1968 and 2011.
The alarming statistics reveal that less than 150 of the 6.4 million abortions conducted since abortion was made legal in England were performed to save the life of the mother.
Just 143 or 0.006 percent of the entire number of terminated pregnancies were performed to save the life of the mother or to prevent serious or permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the mother.
Even when the number is increased to include abortions conducted where a continued pregnancy would pose just a heightened risk to the health of the mother, the number still does not reach even half a percent.
Abortions that fell into this wider category attributed to just 0.37 percent, or 23,778 abortions over the 43 year period. That is just over 500 abortions annually on average, compared to the almost 150,000 abortions that have taken place each year on average since 1968.
"When the case for allowing legal abortion was first placed before the [British] Parliament it was argued that the law needed to be changed to deal with extremely serious situations," according to a report by the Christian Institute in Britain.
"More than 6 million abortions later the figures reveal that in 99.5% of cases where an unborn child's life is ended there is no risk to the health of the mother…other figures reveal that 3 teenage girls have had 24 abortions between them and that some women have had more than eight legal abortions," the CI report added.
Under the current abortion law in England two doctors must sign a referral form before a woman can be allowed an abortion.
But a recent investigation by the Care Quality Commission uncovered that hospitals were using pre-signed forms or forms that had signatures photocopied on them, which allowed the second doctor to circumvent the need to consult another physician.
Last year 189,931 abortions were performed in England and Wales.