Press release -

Department of Health: Abortion statistics, England & Wales: 2009

The following National Statistics were released today by the Department of Health:

Abortion Statistics, England & Wales: 2009 Main findings:

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 non-residents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales (6,862 in 2008)

To view this table, please follow the link below;

See this link for detailed figures and see below for detailed notes.

Notes to editors


Provisional quarterly data for Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2009 have been published in Health Statistics Quarterly; this is the first time full year figures for 2009 are being published by DH.

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