Cohabiting women are more likely to have abortions than single or married women, new figures suggest.
According to statistics from the Department of Health, half of all the abortions carried out last year were performed on unmarried women living with their partners. The figures exclude women unwilling to give details of their relationships.
Two abortions were carried out on cohabiting women for every procedure on a single woman, and three for every termination on a married woman. The number of abortions carried out on cohabiting women has more than tripled since 2002, when they made up only 17 per cent of all terminations.
According to the Mail, the increase could be linked to financial pressure on younger couples, who may feel they cannot afford to pay for a child, or that their uncommitted live-in partner will leave them to bring up the baby alone.
Harry Benson of campaign group the Marriage Foundation told the Mail:
“This is what happens when large numbers of couples move in together and become trapped in unhappy cohabiting relationships. The commitment of a couple who decide to marry and build a future is similar to the commitment involved in planning a baby. Cohabiting couples rarely have that commitment.”
Overall the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales fell by 2.5 per cent during 2012.