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6,666 abortions carried out in Ireland under new legislation last year

A total of 6,666 abortions were carried out in Ireland last year, according to official figures

It is the first full year figures have been available, following a 66% vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment in a 2018 referendum. Abortion services in Ireland commenced on 1 January 2019.

Official figures from the UK Department of Health and Social Care, show an additional 375 abortions took place in England and Wales last year where a Republic of Ireland address was provided. Meanwhile, 67 of the abortions that took place in Ireland in 2019 were for women from Northern Ireland, taking the number of abortions for Irish resident women in Ireland to 6,599. 

The total number of abortions, in 2019, for Irish resident women that were performed in Ireland, England and Wales was 6,974.

Before new abortion legislation was introduced to Ireland, in 2018, the number of abortions that took place in England and Wales for women who are Irish residents was 2,879. A further 32 abortions were reported to have taken place in Ireland under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, taking the total number of abortions for Ireland residents to 2,911.

It means that the total number of abortions that have taken place for Irish resident women in England, Wales and Ireland recorded in official statistics has increased from 2,911 to 6,794 since the legislation was introduced to Ireland – this represents an additional 3,883 abortions, an increase of 133%.

Between tomorrow and Saturday (31 June – 4 July) tens of thousands of people are expected to stream Ireland’s Rally for Life events, which has the theme United for Life.

A spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“It is a tragedy for Ireland that 6,666 lives were lost to abortion in 2019. Every one of these abortions represents a failure to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies. 

“Abortion campaigners claimed before the referendum that introducing abortion to Ireland would make no difference to abortion numbers. These official figures show how untrue this claim was with a very large increase in the number of abortions taking place for women who are Irish residents.”

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.