Figures released from the Department of Health in Ireland earlier this week report that there were approximately 6,700 abortions in Ireland in 2021. The report claims that a cyber attack in 2021 means that the precise figures are not currently available.
Pro-abortion organisation Abortion Rights Campaign issued a press release headlined “ARC celebrates 6700 people accessing abortion care”. The release then went onto state that the group “welcomes the news that at least 6,700 people were able to access safe and legal abortion within Ireland last year”.
In addition to celebrating the number of abortions that had taken place in Ireland, the group also called for “more and better abortion provision”. They are currently attempting to have the three-day waiting period for abortions removed, allow more late-term abortions for babies with disabilities to happen and want the Irish Government to investigate “why so many maternity hospitals and GPs refuse to provide abortion care”.
In 2019, 6,666 abortions were performed in Ireland. 6,577 abortions were performed in 2020. This takes the total number of abortions reported in Ireland since legalisation to 19,943.
A national tragedy
“Following today’s devastating news that 19,943 abortions have occurred in Ireland since the new law came into effect, we need an urgent public debate to look for ways to dramatically reduce these numbers”.
“Senior politicians including Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin repeatedly assured voters that abortion would be ‘rare’ should the 2018 referendum be passed. Clearly, this is not what happened”.
Spokeswoman for the Life Institute, Megan Ní Scealláin, said that it was “disturbing” that the Minister for Health was conducting a review of the operation of the abortion act without acknowledging the “shocking rise in the number of abortions since law came into operation in 2019”.
She added: “There is no acknowledgment that terrible mistakes have happened such as the abortion of a baby boy in the National Maternity Hospital after a misdiagnosis. There is no investigation into why we’re seeing a dramatic increase in women seeking abortions abroad because the baby has Down Syndrome”.
The three-day waiting period must be retained
These figures have come out just weeks after a campaign to retain the three-day waiting period before undergoing an abortion was launched. Speaking of the campaign at the recent Rally for Life, Scealláin said:
“Voters were guaranteed that women would have a three-day period to reflect between a first abortion appointment and the doctor giving the abortion pill, and it is appalling to see abortion campaigners now push to have that time to think scrapped”.
“We know from figures released to Carol Nolan TD that between 800 and 1,000 women did not proceed with an abortion after that initial appointment. Scrapping the requirement for those three days to think might mean another 1,000 abortions a year”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “The number of abortions in Ireland is utterly tragic. It is especially distressing that the people of Ireland voted to introduce abortion by a two to one majority”.
“However, the United States, which had 49 years of abortion before that unjust law was overturned, shows that dramatic change is possible”.