The Mail on Teenage Abortions

A lot of tabloid watchers have obviously been looking elsewhere today, but the Mail still manages to peddle its usual level of bullshit.

I was particularly drawn to this piece [istyosty link]. In it they examine recent Department of Health figures on the number of girls of sixteen or under who have an abortion.

The Mail line is predictable.

Campaigners warned that the alarming figures, revealed by the Department of Health, were representative of a society where abortion was ‘on demand’ – even for very young girls who legally should not be having sex.

But there’s another way of looking at this data.

Here’s the table that the Mail published.

Now I’m not saying for a second that this is an acceptable level of teen abortions. Obviously anyone would hope for those figures to be far smaller – zero even. But take a close look at the figures for the last four years.

The number of abortions carried out on girls of sixteen and under has fallen every year since 2007. In fact the figure is now 15% lower than it was at its peak.

Surely that has to be seen as a good thing. That’s a substantial fall over four years. But no. The Mail looked at these figures and decided to spin it as a comment on our over-sexed society rather than the success story that it undoubtedly is.


  1. This was the first thing I noticed when I read the story. Shouldn’t they be telling us the good news that figures are falling and have been for the last few years? They make the stats sound shocking when in fact, they’ve been pretty consistent over the last decade, particularly for the older age group of girls they’re looking at. This is not a ‘problem’ which is getting ‘worse’. But as you say, the DM has that particular spin it wants to put on everything.

  2. I admit the Daily Mail is often biased to say the least and yet no one mentions the bbc, the mirror, the guardian all have been talking “bullshit” for years. Aren’t they all as bad as one another? Fortunately you are not faced with a possible prison sentence for not buying it like you are with the disgracefully biased BBc. Isn’t it about time we had a truly independant media outlet?

  3. Hmm… I think you’d be reaching to say there was a trend there. Looks to me like the figures have been stable with some natural fluctuation since 2002.

    Doubtless, of course, we’d here from the Mail about the “shocking rise in teen births” if teen abortions ever fell.

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