BPAS comment on the first annual increase in births for a decade

Katherine O’Brien, Associate Director of Communications and Campaigns, said:

“These statistics reflect a growing trend towards women having later in life and fewer children overall.

This will in part because of positive factors including greater female participation in both higher education and the workplace. However, we know that for many women and couples, they are unable to fulfil their reproductive goals because of financial factors. We know that many women would love to have children earlier in life, and to expand their families, but from the high cost of childcare to the motherhood pay penalty, many feel unable to do so. The job market has never been more precarious, and we know the current crisis has hit women’s employment particularly hard. As a result, we may well see these trends continue into the future as women and couples choose to delay having children due to the cost of living crisis. At BPAS, we are seeing a rise in the numbers of women seeking to end a pregnancy over the last year.

There is no ‘right time’ to have a child, and no ‘right number’ of children to have. Women and their partners must be supported to make decisions according to their own circumstances to achieve the families they want. Clear action is needed to shore up support for those who do decide to have children, including affordable childcare, comprehensive maternity support in the workplace, and especially fair access to NHS-funded fertility services.”



For further information, please contact Katherine O’Brien, BPAS Associate Director of Campaigns and Communications, on katherine.o’brien@bpas.org or 07881 265276.

About BPAS

BPAS is a charity that sees over 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/

In 2021, BPAS launched BPAS Fertility, England’s first not-for-profit fertility service, to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service, without profiteering from patients. Our service gives those ineligible for NHS funding an affordable option to access the care they need.