Destruction of life on an unimaginable scale

PHILIPPA TAYLOR looks at the staggering numbers behind 50 years of the Abortion Act in the UK

The Abortion Act reached its 50th anniversary in late October. In these last 50 years almost nine million unborn babies have been aborted in England, Scotland and Wales. That figure has, of course, also impacted the lives of nine million women, some of whom are celebrating this anniversary of the Act but many of whom will instead remember and regret their abortion(s) and the harm each one brings to both mother and child.

This 50th anniversary … has been a time for commemoration of nine million unborn children who have silently disappeared

While I strongly believe there are two victims for every abortion, for now I deliberately focus on the unborn victims, not the women, and the almost incomprehensible scale of destruction of innocent lives. Nine million lives lost is a truly staggering figure.

  • It is more than all the students currently at schools in England
  • It is more than the population of Austria 
  • It is more than the population of New York City
  • It is more than the combined population of the 22 largest cities in the UK after London
  • It is more than 10 per cent of the entire UK population

Incredibly, that number of lives lost is higher than the combined populations of Scotland and Wales.

Let’s break the figures down a bit more.

On current abortion rates, every year we lose more lives than could fill three London Olympic Stadiums (approximately 200,000 per year).

Every month we lose the equivalent of 11 Titanics (over 16,000 per month, since 1992).

We lose many more than the number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks every week in England, Wales and Scotland (3840 per week).

And every day the number of unborn babies who are aborted would completely fill an Airbus A380 (approximately 550 per day).

These are illustrations of the numbers of lives lost. Imagine the difference in England, Scotland and Wales if those were all alive today? Which brings me to Northern Ireland where, in a poignant and striking contrast, there are an estimated 100,000 people who are alive today because they do not have the 1967 Abortion Act, but have a different law.

In other words, one in 10 people aged under 50 in Northern Ireland are alive today because of the more restrictive law on abortion that exists there. This number could fill Northern Ireland’s national football stadium five times over. Each one a precious, valuable human being who is alive today, but would have never have had the chance of life if they lived elsewhere in the UK.

An anniversary is a time for stopping to remember something either very special, or very sad. It is either a celebration, such as of a marriage or a special birthday, or it is a time to commemorate a tragic event, such as a death.

I for one know which this 50th anniversary has signified: nine million innocent lives lost. For me it has been a time for commemoration of nine million unborn children who have silently disappeared.

At the Christian Medical Fellowship, we prepared a short video to mark the anniversary. Please take a minute or two to stop and remember, by watching this video.

Philippa Taylor is Head of Public Policy at Christian Medical Fellowship. She has an MA in Bioethics from St Mary’s University College and a background in policy work on bioethics and family issues.