I would have missed this ONS study had it not been to the very last line in the Guardian’s story about the number of over-40s giving birth. “In other findings, conceptions outside marriage increased from 47% to 56%,” it said.
Now, I’ve blogged before about most births (amongst non-immigrants) being outside marriage this year for the first time, but it turns out it has long been true for conceptions. One figure too grim for newspapers to print: of the 866,000 conceived in Britain in 2006, just 78% made it to the maternity ward. Our abortion rate is 22%.
The ONS study doesn’t include miscarriages or illegal abortions, thus magnifying the percentages slightly. But the fact remains: this country is performing 520 abortions every day.