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Health officials project potential 497% increase in abortions in NI under new abortion regime

Health officials in Northern Ireland project up to 6,500 abortions annually under the new abortion regime, representing a 497% increase in the number of abortions versus numbers before the introduction of the new new abortion regime.

According to information gained from an FOI request by the Centre for Bioethical Reform (CBR), Health Officials in Northern Ireland met in December to discuss how many abortions the region should expect after Westminster voted to impose abortion on the region in July 2019. 

Officials estimate that the region could see up to 6,500 terminations annually. 

According to notes from the meeting: “Service needs to be scaleable [sic] (if service take-up reaches […] England and Wales levels that figure could be 6,500).”

According to figures from 2019, 1,089 abortions were performed on women who claimed residence in Northern Ireland. Most women traveled to England and Wales to have abortions, totalling 1,014, while a few (67) travelled to the Republic of Ireland for the procedures.

If the 6,500 number is accurate, this would mean a 497% increase in abortions for women from Northern Ireland. 

Public consultation

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, has previously told Irish News they have “publicly stated” that its legal advice says that, while the department is “not required to commission the relevant services”, the law now allows registered medical professionals to carry out abortions.

“The regulations require such terminations to be carried out on Health and Social Care premises.” he added.

“Decisions remain to be taken on the commissioning of abortion services in NI’s health service. Commissioning is a significant process that will require a public consultation. It will clearly be [a] matter for the Executive and Assembly as well as the Department.”

‘Extreme abortion regime’

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said

“Tragically, the extreme abortion regime being forced upon the people of Northern Ireland has already resulted in the abortion of at least 719 unborn babies.

“The estimate that potentially 6,500 babies will now be terminated annually in the country, an increase of nearly 500%, represents a failure to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies.

“Northern Ireland is a country where 100,000 people are alive today because they chose to protect unborn babies over accepting the same abortion law that was introduced into Britain in 1967.

“The people of Northern Ireland did not want these extreme abortion regulations imposed on them and still do not want them.

“Northern Ireland politicians must urgently repeal this extreme abortion legislation imposed upon them and begin conversations on how they can better support women and unborn babies.”

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