Abortions rose overall by 8 per cent in 1996 - the first increase since 1990. The number of legal abortions in England and Wales increased to 177,495 in 1996 compared with 163,638 in 1995.
The Pill scare followed a government warning in October 1995 that the "third generation" Pills carried a small but increased risk of causing blood clots.
The rate amongst teenagers rose more sharply partly because as a smaller group they are disproportionately affected by a rise. But a spokesman for the Birth Control Trust said younger women using the Pill had been more likely to stop because "they had not experienced its benefits as much as older women".
1 Abortion statistics: legal abortions carried out under the 1967 Abortion Act in England and Wales, 1996 is available from The Stationery Office price pounds 22Reuse content