Abortions expected to increase as the impact of the cost of living crisis felt

The reasons for getting an abortion can be deeply personal. However in a time where the cost of living is increasingly going up, research indicates that worries about not being able to afford to raise a child are influencing the decisions of pregnant individuals.

One woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told ITV News that the cost of living crisis is already taking a toll on her family.

She and her husband already have children, and she said they have been cutting back as costs are rising. When she unexpectedly found out she was pregnant, they knew affording a new baby was going to be an issue.

The rate of abortions in England has been on the rise for some time, and in 2021 there were 214,256 abortions in England and Wales, according to national government statistics. That's the highest number since the Abortion Act was introduced.

Recent research by organisation Pregnant Then Screwed found almost one in five women claim the cost of childcare was the main reason they chose to have an abortion. They surveyed 1,630 women who have had an abortion in the last five years and found that 60.5% say that the cost of childcare influenced their decision to have an abortion.

This issue could lead to economic trouble in the future too, with the country's ageing population and continually declining birth rate.

The government says they have spent more than £4 billion in each of the past five years to support families with the cost of childcare. And that the number of childcare places available is stable and thousands of parents are benefitting from this support.

They say they are aware of challenges facing the sector, and are increasing funding to support employers with their costs, investing millions in better training for staff working with pre-school children and have set out plans to help providers run their businesses more flexibly.