Abortions reached record levels in Scotland during COVID-19 pandemic

Pedestrians walk along Princes Street in Edinburgh, Scotland, May 1, 2014. | REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Scotland's abortion numbers were at their highest since 2008 during the COVID-19 pandemic, latest figures show.

New data from Public Health Scotland revealed that 13,815 abortions were carried out in 2020, up 209 from 2019 and a 12-year high.

The abortion rate per 1,000 women, aged 15 to 44, also rose from 13.2 in 2019 to 13.4 in 2020, the highest rate recorded since regulations were changed in 1991 to require the sign off of two doctors. 

Figures show there were 209 disability-selective abortions last year, and a 10% rise in repeat abortions, rising to 5,020 from 4,581 the previous year. 

Pro-life group Right to Life U.K. attributes the increases to DIY home abortions, which were introduced after the start of the pandemic. 

The controversial use of abortion pills delivered by the postal service allows women to receive abortion pills in the mail after a phone or e-consultation with an abortionist.

The scheme, which the Scottish government is considering extending, has come under scrutiny after anundercover investigation found evidence that abortion pills were sent to women who gave false personal information and gestation dates. 

Last year, a regional chief midwife at NHS England warned of the "escalating risks" of home abortions in a leaked email. Police also launched a murder investigation after a baby was aborted at home at 28 weeks. 

Catherine Robinson, the spokesperson for Right To Life U.K., said: "It is a national tragedy that 13,815 lives were lost to abortion in Scotland last year.

"Every one of these abortions represents a 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.

"In 2020 Scotland came together as a nation and made great sacrifices to protect the vulnerable from COVID-19. Sadly, at the very same time as protecting one group of vulnerable people, we as a society have also ended thousands of young vulnerable lives through abortion.

"This significant rise in abortions coincides with the temporary measures allowing 'DIY' home abortions in the U.K. Since governments permitted 'DIY' home abortions, many stories of illegal late-term abortions and safety abuses have come to light.

"We are calling on the Scottish Government to end these 'DIY' home abortion schemes immediately."

Originally published at Christian Today 

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