HC Deb 05 February 1974 vol 868 c265W
Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what correlation exists between the increase in notified congenital malformations in each of the years 1970 and 1971 in England and Wales and the increased number of legal abortions under the Abortion Act 1967; and what evidence there is in the figures of prematurity to suggest a direct relationship between induced abortion and prematurity which in turn leads to increased congenital malformation.

Mr. Alison

The answer to both parts of this Question is "None".

Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the incidence of congenital malformations per 1,000 births, per 1,000 live births and per 1,000 still births in England and Wales for each of the years 1964 to 1972, inclusive; and what is the cause of any trend discernible in these figures.

Mr. Alison

Children notified as born with malformations per 1,000 total, live and stillbirths in England and Wales, 1964–72, were as follows:

Year Total Live Births* Stilt Births*
1964 16.4
1965 15.8
1966 15.8
1967 16.6
1968 16.8
1969 17.3 15.1 171.8
1970 17.6 15.6 165.5
1971 18.2 16.0 183.0
1972 19.6 17.5 181.0
* Rates relating to live and stillbirths separately are not available prior to 1969

Notifications are voluntary and cover only malformations observable at birth. It is probable that some of the general increase in rates is due to earlier diagnosis, and reporting, of minor congenital malformations.