Girl, 13, is youngest to have an abortion at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
A 13-year-old girl was the youngest to have an abortion at one of the county’s busiest hospitals last year, we can reveal.
The unidentified patient was one of 118 women and children to undergo the medical procedure at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich.
The oldest women to have an abortion at the hospital last year was aged 46.
However, the number of abortions recorded at the Norfolk and Norwich has dropped from 127 in 2014 and 121 in 2015.
Health chiefs released the figures to this newspaper following a Freedom of Information request.
The youngest child to have an abortion in 2014 was 14, while the oldest that year was 44; and the youngest child to have an abortion in 2015 was 15, while the oldest that year was 43.
Commenting on the figures, a spokesperson for Norfolk Humanists said: “It is unlikely to be an easy decision, and requiring an abortion is a situation that most women would prefer to avoid. For society as a whole, as well as for the children themselves, it is better if every child is a wanted child.
“However, abortion is not the best way of avoiding unwanted children, and improved sex education, easily available contraception, and better education and opportunities for young women, can all help to reduce the number of abortions.
“But as long as abortion is needed as a last resort, most humanists would agree that society should provide safe legal facilities. The alternatives, which would inevitably include illegal abortions, are far worse.”
While the number of abortions is down, the number of births recorded at the hospital has also dropped.
A 52-year-old woman is the oldest to give birth to a baby at the maternity unit in the last three years. The unidentified mum was one of 5853 patients to give birth at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich in 2015.
A 51-year-old woman was the oldest to give birth in Norfolk in 2014, while a 49-year-old woman was the oldest to give birth in 2016.
However, the number of births has dropped from 5847 in 2014 to 5564 up to December 16 last year.
Three underage pregnancies, all involving girls aged 15, were also recorded in the last three years.