Latest Scottish abortion figures are a 'national tragedy'

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New figures released by Public Health Scotland (PHS) reveal that there were 13,758 abortions in the country in 2021. 

The numbers represent a slight fall from 2020, when there were 13,896 abortions.

Nearly all (99%) of the abortions last year were medical, where the mother takes abortion drugs to terminate the pregnancy. 

Of these, over half (53%) were 'DIY' abortions in which the woman took both drugs at home. 

The rate of terminations in Scotland last year was 13.4 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.

PHS noted "a strong association" between the rate of termination and areas of deprivation, with the abortion rate in the most deprived areas being nearly twice as high as in the least deprived areas of Scotland.

The highest abortion rate for a NHS Board was in Tayside (16 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44), while Dundee City (18.7 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44) had the highest rate for a council area. 

Commenting on the data, Michael Robinson, director of communications at the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: "We are looking at a national tragedy here. This appalling figure shows us that abortion is becoming more and more normalised.

"Propaganda telling women that abortion is 'simple and safe', coupled with easier access to abortion drugs, is driving up abortion numbers.

"Behind each of these figures lies a dead baby and a mother who lost her child to abortion."

The release of the figures from PHS follow the announcement from the Scottish government last month that the temporary DIY home abortion scheme would be made permanent in Scotland. 

This is despite concerns from hundreds of medical professionals over the safety of home abortions and a recent study revealing that over 10,000 women who took DIY abortion pills in the UK in 2020 required hospital treatment.

Mr Robinson added: "Scotland's abortion figures show a devastating disregard for the lives of unborn children and the wellbeing of women. The statistics reveal a catastrophic loss of unborn life as a result of the Scottish Government's dangerous policy on abortion.

"13,758 innocent lives have been snuffed out by Scotland's catastrophic abortion regulations. These unborn children were unique and precious human lives with a lifetime of potential ahead of them. Their inherent right to life was snatched away by abortion.

"We will not forget them."

If you or anyone you know has been affected by abortion, the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline (ARCH) can be contacted for free on 0345 603 8501 or