Number of Birmingham Asian women having abortions increases27th January 2009
THERE has been a big jump in the number of Asian women having abortions in Birmingham.
Figures from the Department of Health show there were at least 15,880 terminations by Asian women in England and Wales in 2007, up from 12,712 in 2003 and experts say the increase is reflected in the city.
Experts say more Asian women are now more open about their relationships and prepared to seek abortions.
The Calthorpe clinic has seen the number of terminations across all ethnic backgrounds and ages go up by a fifth in the last five years.
The clinic carried out 10,750 abortions in 2008, up by four per cent on the year before and Carolyn Philips, who runs the clinic, said there had been a notable increase in Asian patients.
She said: “There was an increase overall in the number of abortions but we did notice there were more Asian women. I think it is because culturally it has more acceptable. Like with other women it is part of life, there are unwanted pregnancies.”
The Calthorpe clinic in Edgbaston, which employs 50 people, began termination procedures about 40 years ago. It is a private clinic but 90 per cent are NHS contracts for Birmingham, Solihull, Dudley and Wolverhampton.
Ms Philips added: “A lot of work has been done in Birmingham to make sure women are seen before 10 weeks. Once women have decided to have an abortion they don’t have to wait long.”
The UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe and in an attempt to tackle this, the government is sending family planning nurses into schools to help pupils access services better.
Ms Philips says a similar campaign is needed to promote contraception within the Asian community too.
The Brook Advisory Clinic in Birmingham sees 80 young women each week. About 25 of those, who are under 25 years old, will be referred for terminations.
Sexual health adviser Penny Barber said: “Young Asian people are more likely to come and visit us having had unprotected sex. They appear to be less likely to be using ongoing contraception and they are more likely to be referred for terminations.”
Ms Barber added January and February were the busiest months for unwanted pregnancies, following Christmas.
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