A new study showing that 38,269 teenagers in Britain had an abortion in 2010 has revealed the alarming statistic that at least three had undergone the procedure at least seven times each, while another four teenagers have terminated pregnancies six times each.
The National Health Service (NHS) figures, which will be released under the Freedom of Information Act this week, are showing that young women were being "let down in an appalling way," pro-life campaigners in the U.K. have stated.
"There is something seriously wrong with a country where teenagers are having even one abortion, let alone repeat abortions to this extent," said Rebecca Mallinson, of the Pro Life Alliance, as quoted by The Daily Telegraph.
"We are failing these young people in an appalling way, and storing up serious sexual health problems for the future, whether the direct issue of sexually transmitted diseases, but also the effects that multiple abortions can have on future fertility.
"As to the psychological impact for these extremely vulnerable teenagers, one can only hope they find proper counseling and help as soon as possible."
Among the 38,269 teenage abortions, another 57 girls aborted babies for the fourth time, and 485 did it for the third time. A staggering 5,300 teenage abortions in 2010 were carried out on British teenagers who had already gone through the procedure once.
Other pro-life groups are questioning why the British government is not doing more to raise awareness of the issue and help teens having abortions over and over again.
"Yet here we have young women, still not fully mature physiologically and emotionally, undergoing abortions numerous times," said a spokesman for the pressure group LIFE.
"Are there no mechanisms in the system to prevent or even to flag this? Are there no checks to protect these vulnerable women?
"It cannot be healthy for them, and the provision of abortion is clearly not resolving the problems in the lives that cause them to have multiple crisis pregnancies."
Teenage abortions represent roughly one-fifth of all U.K. abortions, and more than 64,300 terminations out of 189,574 were performed on women who have already had one abortion. Although the total number of teenage abortions in the country dropped 4.5 percent, the number of girls who have had more than three abortions rose from 62 to 80.
The NHS itself has admitted the numbers are a cause of concern.
"Having an abortion can be a very difficult and traumatic experience so we are very concerned about the number of women having multiple abortions," said a Department of Health spokesman.
"It is very important that every woman who has an abortion is offered counseling and given good advice and supplies of contraception.
"There are many types of contraception available to suit women's needs from the pill to long acting reversible contraceptives such as the contraceptive implant."