Limited availability of late-term abortion in Wales makes it “easier to continue the pregnancy” than travel for abortion


The largest abortion provider in Britain has suggested the limited availability of late-term abortion in Wales means that some women choose to give birth to their baby instead because it is “easier to continue the pregnancy than to travel to London”.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which was responsible for 110,719 abortions in England and Wales in the financial year 2022/23, has suggested that the availability of late-term abortion needs to be expanded in Wales, where, according to the BBC, it is difficult to access an abortion after 18 weeks gestation.

Speaking to the BBC, the BPAS clinic manager in Cardiff, Viv Rose, said that sometimes when women request a late-term abortion they “turn to us and say, ‘well, I’ll have to continue the pregnancy then’, because they actually find it easier to continue the pregnancy than to travel to London to get a termination”.

According to another abortion provider, MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes), which does not operate in Wales, the main reason for the lack of late-term abortions in Wales is “a lack of trained abortion surgeons”. In recent years, MSI has launched a bespoke training curriculum to train doctors to perform late-term abortions in an apparent attempt to bolster numbers.

Furthermore, of the 16 abortion doctors trained to perform late-term abortions, all were based in England, and none in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland. 

BPAS came under fire for attempting to hijack Mother’s Day by encouraging supporters to “celebrate” those who end the lives of unborn children through abortion.

X users did not react well to the post with one user describing it as “truly tone-deaf” and another saying “On Mothering Sunday, how despicable”.

BPAS has previously campaigned for abortion to be made legal up until the point of birth and has been explicit that it is campaigning to remove all gestational time limits for abortion. This position was affirmed by its then CEO, Ann Furedi, who, at the launch of the campaign to ‘decriminalise’ abortion stated, “I want to be very, very clear and blunt … there should be no legal upper limit”.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said “It is no surprise that there are so few doctors who are able to perform late-term abortions since those who join the medical profession are typically motivated by concern for preserving life rather than ending it. It is an encouraging sign of hope that fewer and fewer young doctors want to participate in this grim practice”.

“It is also no surprise that BPAS would be interested in expanding the availability of late-term abortions in Wales since they almost have a monopoly on providing abortions privately in Wales with neither of their competitors, MSI Reproductive Choice or NUPAS, operating in the region”.

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