By Paul Taylor

In a week where the British public has been rightly proud of what they have achieved, both in hosting a wonderful Olympic Games and in achieving more medals than ever before, came a much less-publicized piece of news that ought to have my fellow British citizens hanging their heads in shame.

Lord Alton of Liverpool, a member of the House of Lords and one of Britain’s most ethical politicians, asked a Parliamentary Question in November 2011 of the Department of Health; a question that required specific statistical information on the abortions performed in the United Kingdom since the provisions of the Abortion Acts came into force in 1968.1 When embarrassing statistics are released, there seems to be a Parliamentary tradition that they are released on days of other major news, so that news agencies will not pick them up. Perhaps only a cynic would suggest that the answer to Lord Alton’s question was released during a week when the only major news stories in the British media were good news stories about the Olympics.

The total number of abortions carried out since 1968 is 6.4 million. How do we make sense of such statistics? Well, we know that the population of the United Kingdom is 62 million. So the number of babies aborted since 1968 is equal to 10% of the current population. There are 3,941 maintained secondary schools in the United Kingdom.2 6.4 million amounts to an average aborted baby rate of 149,000 per year, between 1968 and 2011. This is equivalent to 37 children per “year-group” for each secondary school in the United Kingdom. Put like this, we can see that there is a missing class of children in every year group in every school in the United Kingdom. These are 37 friends that your teenaged children never had. I don’t apologize for the emotional impact of that figure. We need honest manipulation of statistics in this way to understand the actual impact of policy on society.

One of the principle anti-life (“pro-choice”) arguments used in 1968 was that abortions were a sort of necessary evil to protect the life of the mother. So Lord Alton asked how many abortions had been carried out since 1968 in order to try to save the life of a woman, whose life was endangered. The answer is 143. Out of 6.4 million abortions, 143 were to save the life of the mother. That is 0.0022%….

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