Half Of Women Who Have Had Abortions Last Year Were Using Contraception
The Debrief: Your contraception might not be as effective as you think.
Date released by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service has shown that over half (51.2%) of women who had abortions at a bpas clinic in 2016 were using at least one form of contraception. Adding to that, a quarter of those women were using the most effective contraception available: a method of hormonal contraception or a long-acting reversible contraceptive method.
Let's just recap on that guys: more than 14,000 of women who were treated at bpas clinics last year experienced failed contraception. Scary, right? While long-acting reversible methods of contraception, like the pill, are supposed to be highly effective, there are inevitably cases that slip through the net. But 14,000 is a pretty big number.
According to bpas, 'each year 9 in every 100 women using the contraceptive pill, 6 in every 100 using the contraceptive injection, and nearly 1 in every 100 using the IUD, will become pregnant.' In some of these cases, late abortion will occur because long-acting reversible methods of contraception can cause side effects which hinder pregnancy identification, like light or irregular periods.
As well as this, women using contraception won't be expecting to fall pregnant, so may not be looking out for pregnancy symptoms. A study by bpas has suggested that this could be one of the reasons why 1-2% of all abortions performed take place at over 20 weeks pregnant.
As it stands, the legal limit for abortions is 24 weeks in England, Wales and Scotland, while women in Northern Ireland are now able to get free abortions in England. Ann Furedi, bpas Chief Executive, said: 'When you encourage women to use contraception, you give them the sense that they can control their fertility - but if you do not provide safe abortion services when that contraception fails you are doing them a great disservice.
'Our data shows women cannot control their fertility through contraception alone, even when they are using some of the most effective methods. Family planning is contraception and abortion. Abortion is birth control that women need when their regular method lets them down.'
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