Previous pregnancies among young women having an abortion in England and Wales

McDaid, Lisa Ann, Collier, Jacqueline and Platt, Mary Jane (2015) Previous pregnancies among young women having an abortion in England and Wales. Journal of Adolescent Health, 57 (4). pp. 387-392. ISSN 1879-1972

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to use national statistics on abortions carried out in England and Wales to more precisely estimate the proportion of young women aged under 20 obtaining an abortion who have had one or more previous pregnancies. Methods: Secondary analysis of abortion data from the Office of National Statistic and the Department of Health by parity for women under 20, ordinarily residing in England and Wales, from 1992 - 2013. Results: Over the last 20 years, the proportion of teenagers in England and Wales having an abortion as a result of a subsequent pregnancy increased by 33% (from 0.172 in 1992 to 0.229 in 2013). The majority of this increase occurred prior to 2004 and the proportion now appears to have stabilised. In 2013, 22.9% of the young women aged under 20 who underwent an abortion had had at least one previous pregnancy (either a birth or an abortion). Only a minority (less than 5% of teenagers who obtained an abortion) had had more than one previous pregnancy. Conclusions: The findings show that nearly one in four teenagers presenting for an abortion have already been in contact with health services for a previous birth or abortion. Greater policy emphasis must be placed on the accurate identification of the proportion of teenage pregnancies that occur as a result of a subsequent pregnancy and developing more effective 'secondary prevention' interventions to help first-time pregnant and parenting teenagers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Uncontrolled Keywords: teenage,pregnancy,termination, abortion,birth,repeat,subsequent
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2015 15:00
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 23:52
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.06.008

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