The report, called Unprotected Nation
, states that 3.2m women aged between 15 and 44 have restricted access to sexual health and contraceptive services.
If says if there was an improved scenario, with fewer access restrictions, the cost of unintended pregnancies to the NHS could be reduced by £24m each year.
Leading UK sexual health charities Brook
commissioned the report, which analyses the long-term financial implications of access to contraceptive and sexual health services.
The foreword states: ‘The results have been startling. Policies that cut and restrict contraceptive and sexual health services now will result in greater numbers of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
‘Ensuring good access for all to contraceptive choices and accurate, evidence-based information on sexual health is essential if we are to improve the nation’s health and reduce the cost of unintended pregnancy and STIs. We mustn’t return to a time when such choices didn’t exist.’
The research states that the average abortion rate was around 9.7% higher in areas where services were restricted, compared with areas with no restrictions.
This provides an indication that restrictions to contraceptive services could result in significantly more unintended pregnancies.
The report looks at three scenarios: access to contraception remaining at its current level, improved access and worsened access.
Numbers of abortions, miscarriages and live births expected under each of the three scenarios, and the costs of these, were considered.
To view the full report, please click here