Hundreds seek second abortion

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NEARLY a quarter of women under 25 who had an abortion last year in South Yorkshire had already undergone a previous termination, according to latest figures.

A total of 919 abortions were given to under-25s in Sheffield last year - 221 of them, or 24 per cent, to women who had undergone a termination before.

In Rotherham, 91 out of a total 396 abortions, or 23 per cent, were to women under 25 who had undergone one before.

In Barnsley and Doncaster the figure was 27 per cent - 93 out of 345 abortions in Barnsley, and 153 out of 566 in Doncaster.

The South Yorkshire figures mirror the England average of 25 per cent.

The 20 to 24 age bracket was the most common for abortions - a situation reflected across the country - with 539 being carried out in Sheffield last year.

In Rotherham the figure stood at 205, in Barnsley at 196, and in Doncaster at 318.

The fewest were carried out on under 18s - 169 in Sheffield, 89 in Rotherham, 76 in Barnsley and 122 in Doncaster.

Alicia Gilpin, public health lead for sexual health at NHS Sheffield, said there had been a drop in the number of under 18s undergoing abortions - from 20 per 1,000 girls in 2009, to 18 per 1,000 girls in 2010.

“At NHS Sheffield we have made significant headway in improving the accessibility and quality of sexual health services for young people in the city,” she said.

“We have recruited additional family planning nurses, trained more GPs and primary care staff in sexual health issues, as well as training over 500 frontline staff in schools and youth services to help young people make positive life choices.

“There is a sustained commitment to continuing to improve access to sexual health advice, support and contraceptive services, in particular long acting reversible contraception which has underpinned our successful teenage pregnancy programme.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Barnsley added: “Sexual and reproductive health services across Barnsley have made much progress to improve facilities, when and where they are available, and who delivers them.”

Tony Baxter, Doncaster’s director of public health said: “In Doncaster we have made some significant steps in abortion services.

“We now have good relationships between our local contraceptive and abortion services and have increased the uptake of long acting reversible contraception among under 19s and following abortions.”

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