Annual abortion statistics for England and Wales published by the Department of Health in 2011 show that the abortion rate has remained stable for the third year in a row, at 17.5 per cent. The number of abortions for UK residents in 2011 was 189,981, a rise of 0.2 per cent.
The NHS funded 96 per cent of all abortions carried out in England and Wales. The proportion of terminations carried out at under 13 weeks remained at 91 per cent, while the proportion at under 10 weeks rose by one per cent to 78 per cent.
The earlier in pregnancy an abortion is carried out the safer and more straightforward it is.
However, the number of women who have had more than one abortion increased slightly in 2011, to 36 per cent. This compares with a rate of 35 per cent in France, 40 in Sweden and 50 in the United States.