As the 40th anniversary of the infamous Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision has recently passed, I recalled that I had recently seen some statistics on abortions in England and Wales. Sometimes, statistics presented unemotionally, with very little comment, can present a case powerfully. I hope that no one is in doubt about my opposition to abortion. You can find the reasons for this in one of my chapters in The New Answers Book 3[1]. I also wrote an article to mark the 40th anniversary of the passing of the UK’s Abortion Act (1967)[2].

The statistics I found were for 2001[3]. There were 176,400 abortions carried out that year. Those children would have been 11 years old in September 2012, and therefore would have entered secondary school for the current academic year, into Year 7[4].

So how many secondary schools are there in England and Wales? Wales had 221 maintained secondary schools in January 2012, with 31,895 pupils on roll in Year 7[5]. England had 3,268 maintained secondary schools in January 2012, with 532,655 pupils on roll in Year 7[6]. This makes a total of 564,550 pupils in 3,489 maintained secondary schools in England and Wales in Year 7. This is an average of 161.81 Year 7 pupils per school.

Remember that 176,400 babies were aborted in 2001, which is the year that 2012’s Year 7 pupils would have been born. That is an average of 50.56 pupils per school that could have entered Year 7.

Just over 50 pupils missing per year group per school. Given that the maximum recommended class size in both countries is 30, this constitutes one and a half missing classes.

It is now time to pause and reflect on those cold statistics.


[1] Taylor, P.F., “Abortion: Is It Really a Matter of Life and Death?”, in Ham, K. (ed. 2010), The New Answers Book 3, (Green Forest, AR: Master Books), pp 119-128.

[2] Taylor, P.F. (2007), Forty Years of Legalized Killing, < >

[4] “Year 7” is the cohort of children in each academic year group in England and Wales, such that the children are 11 years old on September 1st of that year. “Year 7” is therefore approximately equivalent to “Grade 6” in the USA. Secondary schools—similar to US high schools—usually have pupils from Years 7 to 11 inclusive; though some will also have Years 12 and 13.