Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at bpas, said:
“What these figures show is a drop in the overall number of conceptions – and within that a small increase in the proportion of those that end in abortion. This has resulted in a more than 3% drop in the number of live births since last year and a more than 7% fall over the decade.
“The reasons for this are likely to be complex. In recent years we’ve seen an increasingly cautious approach to family size, which is likely to be driven by a host of factors ranging from the two-child limit to uncertainty about Brexit.
“We also know that there’s has been a huge fall in teenage pregnancy rates, and that many women are choosing to start their families later. The under-18 conception rates have decreased for the 11th year running – and these conceptions are more likely to end in abortion than any other age group.
“Regardless of their age, we know that women take the prospect of becoming a parent extremely seriously and want to achieve financial security and ideally a home of their own before doing so. Today’s figures may reflect that reaching those goals is more difficult than ever.”
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bpas is a charity which sees almost 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception, at clinics across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/