KING’S LYNN: Rise in abortions demand at QEH
The number of abortions conducted at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has risen by about 44 per cent over the last 12 years.
A total of 4,449 terminations have been held at the hospital between 2000 and 2012.
The figures have been released following a Freedom of Information request lodged by Victoria Gillick, secretary of the Fenland Life Supporters Group.
The hospital says it would expect to see a rise in terminations as the birth rate has increased.
Mrs Gillick also requested the number of babies born at the hospital, which has also shown a rise in the number of non-British mothers.
Mrs Gillick, of Wisbech, said of the abortion figures: “I was shocked and stunned, because irrespective of the nationality of the babies that were aborted, they were still beloved children that have been lost.”
UK abortion law states that terminations must be carried out in a hospital or licensed clinic with the agreement of two doctors. Abortions are usually carried out in the first 24 weeks.
A total of 287 abortions were carried out at the QEH in 2000 but this has risen to 416 in 2012. The peak was seen in 2008 when 465 procedures were recorded.
Within that 12-year period, 123 terminations were carried out on girls under the age of 16, 602 for the 16 to 19-year-olds and 3,724 for the over 20s.
Director of nursing and clinical services, Gwyneth Wilson, said: “The birth rate for West Norfolk and the Fens has been increasing in recent years. Last year we had 2,534 births at the hospital, compared to 2,063 in 2004. In line with this we would also expect to see an increase in the demand for terminations.
“Increased sensitivity of pregnancy testing kits means that women and their partners are now able to make prompt decisions around their families and the choices available to them.
“The options for termination of pregnancy do not have to include a hospital stay with anaesthetics or surgical procedures. Many women may find this more acceptable and find that it fits around their personal circumstances.”
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