LEICESTER, United Kingdom – A rise in the number of abortions in Scotland is “deeply depressing,” according to a Catholic official.

Public Health Scotland says there were 13,583 abortions in Scotland in 2019, the second highest figure on record. The number amounts to 13 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in the country.

“As is often the case with publications of this type the report tries to soften the reality by referring to termination of ‘pregnancy’ as opposed to the termination of a baby, child or human being,” wrote Anthony Horan, the director of the Edinburgh-based Catholic Parliamentary Office, on the organization’s website.

Horan said “termination of pregnancy” is a confusing term since the birth of a child either by natural means or by caesarean section ‘terminates’ – or ends – a pregnancy.

“What distinguishes these terminations from those in the report is that, in the latter, the child is deliberately killed,” he explained.

He also noted that the data showed the termination rate remains considerably higher in poorer regions with women in the most deprived areas of Scotland almost twice as likely to have an abortion than women from the least deprived areas

“This has consistently been the case since at least 2010 and yet the Scottish Government has done little to tackle the inequalities faced by the poorest women experiencing a crisis pregnancy. Why are more poor women seeking terminations? Do they feel pressured into the decision? Is there adequate support available to help them to keep their child?” Horan asked.

He also noted that 211 abortions were performed on the grounds of a “chromosomal abnormality,” which he said continues a “deeply troubling trend towards extinguishing those with Down’s Syndrome from Scottish society.”

“These are deeply depressing statistics. Each termination is a tragedy, the death of a child. And no amount of use of the term ‘termination of pregnancy’ by officials will ever change the fact that we are dealing with little human beings,” Horan said. “Abortion doesn’t only terminate a pregnancy. It terminates a child.”

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