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Abortion statistics, England and Wales: 2009

  • Document type:
  • Author:
    Department of Health
  • Published date:
    25 May 2010
  • Gateway reference:
    Not required
  • Series number:
    Statistical Bulletin 2010/1
  • Pages:
  • Copyright holder:
National Statistics logo

Information on abortions carried out in England and Wales in 2009 was released on 25 May 2010 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

The information is obtained from the abortion notification forms returned to the Chief Medical Officers of England and Wales.

Key facts

In 2009, for women resident in England and Wales:

  • the total number of abortions was 189,100,compared with 195,296 in 2008, a fall of 3.2%
  • the age-standardised abortion rate was 17.5 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, compared with 18.2 in 2008
  • the abortion rate was highest at 33 per 1,000, for women aged 19, 20 & 21, each lower than in 2008
  • the under-16 abortion rate was 4.0 and the under-18 rate was 17.6 per 1,000 women, both lower than in 2008
  • 94% of abortions were funded by the NHS; of these, over half (60%) took place in the independent sector under NHS contract
  • 91% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation; 75% were at under 10 weeks
  • medical abortions accounted for 40% of the total
  • 2,085 abortions (1%) were under ground E, risk that the child would be born handicapped


  • in 2009, there were 6,643 abortions for nonresidents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales (6,862 in 2008)

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