Repeat procedures: Lucy Lannelly was just 12 when she had her first abortion and then further ones at 13, 15, and 16
Latest figures suggest many girls are using the procedure as a form of contraception, with pro-life campaigners claiming they are being ‘let down in an appalling way’.
For one in seven teenagers who had an abortion in 2010, it was not their first.
Out of 38,269 teenagers having terminations in England and Wales, 5,300 had already had at least one, say NHS figures released under the Freedom of Information Act. Three had their eighth abortion, while another two had their seventh.
Four teenagers had a termination for the sixth time, 14 had their fifth, 57 had a termination for the fourth time and 485 went through the procedure for a third time.
Rebecca Mallinson of the Pro Life Alliance said: ‘There is something seriously wrong with a country where teenagers are having even one abortion, let alone repeat abortions to this extent.
‘We are failing these young people in an appalling way, and storing up serious sexual health problems for the future, whether the direct issue of sexually transmitted diseases, [or] the effects that multiple abortions can have on fertility.
‘As to the psychological impact for these extremely vulnerable teenagers, one can only hope they find proper counselling and help as soon as possible.’
The Health Service is spending around £1million a week providing repeat abortions, with each procedure costing up to £1,000, according to data released earlier this month.
It showed that around a third of all abortions carried out in England and Wales are repeats.
Among the cases was Lucy Lanelly from Doncaster, who had her first abortion at age 12 then more at 13, 15 and 16. She did not regret having sex at the time but admitted she had not been mature enough to deal with the consequences.
'Something seriously wrong': Pro-life campaigners claim teenagers are being let down in the 'most appalling way' (picture posed by model)
Some 85 of those women had undergone at least seven previous terminations.
The number of abortions for teenagers dropped 4.5 per cent in 2010, from 40,067 in 2009 which was itself a 6.1 per cent fall on the 42,690 in 2008.
The Daily Mail's story from May 14
The total number of abortions for women of all ages rose slightly to 189,574 in 2010, up 0.3 per cent on the 189,100 carried out in 2009.
The figures were released ahead of NHS abortion statistics for 2011, to will be published next week.
A spokesman for pressure group Life said: ‘Abortion is a serious procedure, one which all sides of the abortion debate agree should not be undertaken lightly.
‘Yet here we have young women, still not fully mature physiologically and emotionally, undergoing abortions numerous times. Are there no mechanisms in the system to prevent or even to flag this? Are there no checks to protect these vulnerable women?
‘The provision of abortion is clearly not resolving the problems that cause them to have multiple crisis pregnancies.’
Tracey McNeill, director of Marie Stopes International, said: ‘When women who have already had an abortion present to us for the same procedure, we take extra care to find out the reason for their pregnancy, and to counsel them about their contraception options.’
A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘Having an abortion can be a very difficult and traumatic experience so we are very concerned about the number of women having multiple abortions.’