Today marks 54 years since the 1967 Abortion Act came into force – six months after it received royal assent.
Since then, a staggering 9,900,348* unborn babies have lost their lives to abortion across England, Wales, and Scotland — more than one death every three minutes.
The number of abortions performed in England and Wales reached a record high in 2020 with 210,860 taking place, while the number of terminations performed in Scotland was the second highest on record at 13,815.
The significant rise in abortions coincides with the governments in Westminster and Holyrood using emergency Covid measures to push through dangerous DIY at-home abortions across Great Britain. In England and Wales, pills by post abortions accounted for 47% of all abortions during the period April to December 2020. In Scotland, DIY at-home abortion accounted for 37.9% (5,062) of all abortions in 2020.
In the UK, more lives are lost to abortion each year than have been lost throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest figures show 190,124 deaths in the UK with Covid-19 on the death certificate. This figure drops to 174,144 deaths within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19.
It is projected that on 5 October 2022, 10 million lives will have been lost to abortion.
However, that date could tragically come sooner. The actual number of abortions is likely to be higher than the projected figure as the uncertainty created by the cost of living, the hangover of the pandemic and DIY abortion pills take their toll.
The UK's abortion law is failing both women and unborn children. I'm devastated for every single one of these 9,900,348 lives that have been lost, each one of them fearfully and lovingly made. The law as it is practised gives no protection for these children – they are out of sight and out of mind. No wonder so many women are aborting, believing 'it's just a clump of cells'.
We, the Church, must find a way to reverse this bigger trend. We must pray that God would protect the innocent. We must speak on the unborn child's behalf. We must kindly and compassionately show people the truth about what abortion truly is. We must be ready to support all pregnant mothers in crisis.
And we must hold out the grace and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ alone to all those caught up in the sin of abortion: for women who've chosen it, for men who've encouraged or coerced it, for doctors who've performed it, for activists who've campaigned for it, for politicians who've allowed it and for an electorate who has voted for them.
God is just, and God is good. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.
How long, O Lord?
How many more lives must be sacrificed before we realise the damage we've done? I hope and pray it isn't another 10 million.
* This figure is a projection for England, Wales & Scotland through to midnight on 26 April 22. It has been calculated based on the following assumptions:
- The number of abortions per day in England, Wales & Scotland will remain the same in 2021 and 2022 as in 2020.
- The rate of abortions throughout the year is evenly distributed.
Andrea Williams is CEO of Christian Concern.