09/06/2015 10:17 BST | Updated 09/06/2016 06:12 BST

Pills 'Used For Most Abortions'

More women now have abortions by taking a pill than by undergoing a surgical procedure, official figures show.

Medical abortions accounted for just over half (51%) of all terminations in England and Wales in 2014, according to the Department of Health.

This was slightly higher than in 2013 when it was 49%, and far greater than in 2004 (20%). It is the first year that there have been more medical procedures than surgical ones.

The total number of abortions carried out in England and Wales last year was 184,571 - 0.4% less than in 2013 (185,311) and 0.6% less than in 2004 (185,713), annual figures show.

As with the previous year, women aged 22 had the greatest amount of abortions, and nearly two in five (37%) were to women who had already had one or more terminations.

There was a further drop in both under 16s and under 18s having abortions, with the under 16 abortion rate at 2.5 per 1,000 women and the under 18 rate was 11.1 per 1,000 women.

In 2013 the figures were 2.6 and 11.7 per 1,000 women respectively and in 2004 they were 3.7 and 17.8 per 1,000.

The majority (92%) of abortions were carried out at under 13 weeks gestation, with 80% at less than 10 weeks, compared to 79% in 2013 and 60% in 2004.

Medical abortion is also known as early abortion and involves taking two sets of pills before nine weeks of pregnancy, according to Marie Stopes.