NINE OUT OF TEN TERMINATIONS PURELY FOR MOTHER'S SAKE, FIGURES SHOW; Pro-Lifers Attack Leap in `Social' Abortion

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Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

ANTI-ABORTION campaigners claim new figures show nine out of ten terminations are carried out on `social' grounds.

Statistics published yesterday also reveal that one in five conceptions by women in England and Wales ends in abortion, compared with fewer than one in ten in 1970.

The proportion of operations performed to protect the `mental health' of the woman - grounds condemned by opponents as tantamount to abortion on demand - has climbed steeply in the 1990s.

The first detailed analysis of abortion trends published by Government statisticians in six years also shows how an increasing proportion of terminations are carried out in the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

Anti-abortion campaigners yesterday claimed this showed women were being rushed into terminations without the time for counselling. Increasingly accurate detectors are, however, enabling women to discover they are pregnant much earlier.

The figures come at a time of acute sensitivity over the issue, with the Pro-Life Alliance fielding more than 50 election candidates against pro-abortion MPs. …