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Abortion statistics, England and Wales: 2005

  • Author:
    Department of Health
  • Published date:
    4 July 2006
  • Primary audience:
    Professionals, Allied health professionals
  • Product number:
    ISBN 1-84649-001-4
  • Gateway reference:
    Not required
  • Series number:
    Statistical Bulletin 2006/01
  • Copyright holder:

This bulletin summarises information from the abortion notification forms returned to the Chief Medical Officers of England and Wales in respect of abortions carried out in England and Wales in 2005

Key facts

In 2005, for women resident in England and Wales:  

  • the total number of abortions was 186,400, compared with 185,700 in 2004, a rise of 0.4%  
  • the age-standardised abortion rate was 17.8 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, the same as in 2004  
  • the abortion rate was highest, at 32.0 per 1,000, for women in the 20-24 age group    
  • the under-16 abortion rate was 3.7 and the under-18 rate was 17.8 per 1,000 women, both the same as in 2004.  
  • 84% of abortions were funded by the NHS; of these, just over half (52%) took place in the independent sector under NHS contract  
  • 89% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation; 67% were at under 10 weeks  
  • medical abortions accounted for 24% of the total compared with 19% in 2004   
  • 1,900 abortions (1%) were under ground E, risk that the child would be born handicapped 


  • in 2005 there were 7,900 abortions for non-residents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales (8,800 in 2004)

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