Abortion rates in the developed world have been declining for 25 years and are at an historic low. There were 27 abortions per 1000 women between 2010 and 2014, down from 40 per 1000 between 1990 and 1994. The total number of abortions fell from 12 million to 7 million in 2014. Because of the lack of effective contraception methods the total figure in the less developed world, where Islam and the Catholic Church are hold sway, the figure was 50 million. The figures seem to bear out the point of view that where there is availability of the Pill, abortions are gradually being reduced. Where contraception is discouraged, as in Latin America, the abortion rate is high and unmoved over the years, and strict laws don’t limit them.

Nobody wants an abortion. Period. It is forced upon women owing to extreme poverty, the joblessness of the parents, already-too-large-a-family that is unsupportable, rape, incest and other social ills. I believe Epicurus would have supported the right of every woman to choose, although he never addressed the subject as far as I know. His other ideas on equality of the sexes and respect for others, however, suggest I am right.

Some statistics:

In Britain more than half of the women who have abortions are already mothers, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health. In 2016. 55% of the women who had terminations in England and Wales had already given birth, up from 47% in 2006. The overall number of abortions fell slightly last year, to 190,406; 98% of them were funded by the NHS, and 1,564 were given to girls under 16. More than 90% of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks’ gestation, and 81% at under ten weeks’

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