New report published on effects of Abortion from the Pension and Population Research Institute (PAPRI)

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An inconvenient analysis. New report discusses wide-ranging effects of abortion. London-based PAPRI today launched 'Acessing the Damage', a 32-page report by its Director of Research, Patrick Carroll, into demographic impact on society, and the consequences for womens health, of the 1967 Abortion Act.

Patrick Carroll

Statistics on abortion in England and Wales are unusually comprehensive and detailed by international standards and when combined with information from live birth data and mortality it is possible to estimate what I have called the 'Lost Generations' that are missing as a result of this legislation

The London-based Pension and Population Research Institute Recently (25 October) launched 'Assessing the Damage', a 32-page report by its Director of Research, Patrick Carroll, into the demographic impact on society, and the consequences for women's health, of the 1967 Abortion Act.

Speaking at the launch at the Royal Society of Medicine in Wimpole Street, London, Mr Carroll said that the report discusses how national statistical data can be used to assess the effect of the 1967 Act.

"The 40th anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act is a significant opportunity to re-assess the impact on society that has resulted from this legal and cultural change. Given that we live in such a politically correct age, for many my report is probably a rather inconvenient analysis, but it could however be a first step towards a restoration of the situation that will benefit many," Mr Carroll said.

Through statistical analysis and comparison Mr Carroll, who is an actuary and statistician by profession, looks at the impact of nearly seven million legally induced abortions over the last 40 years, abortion's bearing on family structure and its adverse health consequences.

"Statistics on abortion in England and Wales are unusually comprehensive and detailed by international standards and when combined with information from live birth data and mortality it is possible to estimate what I have called the 'Lost Generations' that are missing as a result of this legislation,"
Mr Carroll said.

The 'Lost Generations' are those who might have been born had they not been terminated as a result of the 1967 Act, some of whom could now be grandparents.

At a time of low birth rates and increasing infertility Mr Carroll says that the impact on actual population today of a still increasing abortion rate is serious. In his report he estimates that the United Kingdom's working age population has been reduced by nearly 7% since 1967. Had the Lost Generations been included in the working age population today, for example, National Insurance Contributions for men might on average be reduced by nearly £290.00 a year (£5.56 per week) or nearly £210.00 (£4.01 per week) for women.

"In the UK and Ireland there is good reason to be concerned about abortion and its impact in the continuing demographic context of late marriage and late childbearing. Our abortions are more damaging to health because so many are carried out on women before they give birth to live children," Mr Carroll said.

On an individual level, abortions are a greater threat to fertility and the physical and mental health of a woman who has yet to have children, than those that occur in a mother who has had a full-term pregnancy.

Patrick Carroll argues that there are national implications too, as live birth rates fall below replacement levels. In England, Wales and Scotland he argues that the abortion rate has contributed to the decline in Great Britain's birth rate.

However in Northern Ireland, where the 1967 Act does not apply, there has also been a considerable decline in the birth rate since 1968, but the prohibition on abortion has maintained fertility at a higher level than in Great Britain.

The Report also looks at the interaction between abortion and the decline of marriage, fertility, family size, family life and parenting. This includes its effect on women's health in relation to breast cancer. In his research Mr Carroll found abortion to be the best predictor of modern breast cancer trends.

Dr Joel Brind, Professor of Human Biology and Endocrinology at Baruch College of the City University of New York, came across the link between abortion and breast cancer in 1992. He was in London to support Mr Carroll at the launch of the report.

Ends

For further information and embargoed advanced copies of the report, please contact Terry McErlane on +44 (0)7860 862231 or +44 (0)7736 230585

Notes to Editors

1.    Publication of the Report
The Report will be posted on the websites of the Pension and Population Research Institute http://home.btconnect.com/papri and the Medical Education Trust http://www.mededtrust.org.uk

2.    Patrick Carroll M.A, F.I.A
Patrick Carroll is Director of Research at the Pension and Population Research Institute and an actuary and statistician by profession. He has contributed several papers to actuarial literature that include Pension Age in a Changing Society (1990), Abortion and other Pregnancy-Related Risk Factors in Female Breast Cancer (2001). Mr Carroll is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

3.    Dr Joel Brind
Joel Brind PhD is a biochemist who has specialised in reproductive steroid hormones and their links to human diseases since 1972. A graduate of Yale College, he earned his PhD in basic medical science from New York University in 1981 becoming a Professor of Human Biology and Endocrinology at Baruch College of the City University of New York in 1986.

4.    Pension and Population Research Institute (PAPRI) and Medical Education Trust
The PAPRI is a charitable trust with educational aims that includes research into Pensions, Demography, Insurance and Investment. The publication has been funded by the Medical Education Trust, a registered as a charity set up to promote a better understanding of the nature of man and of the nature of health.

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Terry McErlane
PAPRI
+44(0)7860862231
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