Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Ipswich: Health experts pledge to break ‘disturbing’ repeat abortion figures in Ipswich and East Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 17:21 19 July 2013 | UPDATED: 21:20 19 July 2013

Alan Murray, Suffolk County Councils cabinet member for health and adult care, said abortions should not be used for the failure of contraception.

Alan Murray, Suffolk County Councils cabinet member for health and adult care, said abortions should not be used for the failure of contraception.

Paul Nixon Photography 07904296577

Health experts have pledged to tackle “disturbing” figures which reveal nearly one in three of all abortions performed in Ipswich and East Suffolk last year involved women who had previously undergone a termination.

Department of Health (DoH) data shows that in 2012 there were 260 “repeat” abortions – 30% of the total number of pregnancies terminated last year.

More than one in five women aged under 25 had undergone the procedure before (21%) while the rate for women aged 25 and over was 38%.

Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health and adult care, said: “Abortions should not be used for the failure of contraception. It is less than acceptable given the access to contraception advice and contraception devices, and the availability of the morning after pill.

“The figures are disturbing. What surprises me is the 25 and over figure, but I have been led to believe eastern Europeans use abortion more as a contraceptive treatment rather than more traditional methods – and perhaps the reason why Ipswich and east Suffolk has a higher rate is because of towns like Ipswich having a higher ethnic mix.

“The decision to have an abortion is a traumatic blow for any individual. They need extra support if contraception didn’t work in the first place as there could be risks to their health and wellbeing.

“But it is up to us as health advisers, doctors and hospitals to give sound advice and we will be analysing these figures in much more detail. More research is needed.”

A British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) spokesman said it was not surprising that the Ipswich and East Suffolk figures showed a higher proportion of older people reporting previous abortions.

“More women are postponing motherhood until the time is right for them and are trying to avoid pregnancy for a longer period of time, putting them at higher risk of unwanted pregnancy,” she said.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, added: “What matters is that every woman with an unplanned pregnancy is able to make the choice that is right for her and access the care that she needs.

“These statistics confirm that women who have abortions do not fit the stereotype of ‘the feckless teenager’. Women of all ages and from all walks of life experience unplanned pregnancy.”

The number of abortions in the county fell by 1% – from 1,335 to 1,294.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “Having an abortion can be a very difficult and traumatic experience so we are concerned about the number of women having repeat abortions.

“It is very important that every woman who has an abortion is offered information about contraception.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

A charity supporting West Suffolk Hospital has launched its biggest ever fundraising campaign in a bid to fund a diagnostic unit at a new cardiac centre being built at the Bury St Edmunds site.

Safety failings uncovered by health inspectors at an Essex care home put residents at risk of being trapped inside if the building caught fire, a new report warns.

An investigation is underway into suspected arson after a thatched outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park was burned to the ground.

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 25 year-old male from Ipswich, who has not been seen for a week.

There are just a few days left to have your say over Braintree District Council’s draft Local Plan.

Two Suffolk nurseries have defended their decision to put the price of hot meals up to £12 a day in the wake of national funding changes being rolled out later this year.

The popular ITFC family day out will return on Thursday, July 27, at Portman Road.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24