New abortion statistics for Scotland have exposed a “saddening” link with levels of deprivation, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has said.
Figures released this week by Public Health Scotland revealed that 13,583 unborn children were killed by abortion in 2019, the second highest figure since the Abortion Act came into force in 1968.
Last year, women living in Scotland’s most deprived areas were 2.1 times more likely to have an abortion than their counterparts in the least deprived parts of the country.
The report from Public Health Scotland noted a “strong association between deprivation and termination rates”.
“In recent years termination rates increased across the deprivation groups, although this was more pronounced in the most deprived areas,” it said.
Commenting on the findings, SPUC’s Michael Robinson said the link between abortion and deprivation was “saddening” but “not surprising”.
He said abortion had become a “symbol of inequality” and indicative of how “society has failed to meet the needs of women”.
He called on the Scottish Government to do more to support pregnant women.
“So often, women are pushed and pressured towards making a choice for a number of societal reasons such as finances, unstable relationships or employment,” he said.
“It is unacceptable, that in 21st century Scotland, women living in disadvantaged circumstances are forced towards having abortions.
“This is the disturbing reality behind the veneer of choice. It is vital that the Scottish Government and wider society do more to protect and support those women facing an unexpected or crisis pregnancy.”