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Ireland commemorates third anniversary of abortion referendum – over 6000 lives lost since

Today marks the third anniversary of Ireland’s referendum on May 25th, 2018 on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment: the amendment to the Irish constitution passed in 1983 that explicitly guaranteed the right to life of the unborn. The “Yes” campaign received 66.40% of the vote, and 33.60% voted “No” to repealing the amendment.

Following the referendum, the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act entered Irish law on December 20th, 2018, and abortion services commenced on January 1st, 2019. 

Large increase in number of lives lost to abortion

According to official figures, 6,666 abortions took place in Ireland in the 2019/20 year. 

Official figures from the UK Department of Health and Social Care show that an additional 375 abortions took place in England and Wales in 2019 where an address in the Republic of Ireland 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 women resident 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 Irish 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, as recorded in official statistics, has increased from 2,911 to 6,794 abortions since the legislation was introduced to Ireland – this represents an additional 3,883 abortions, an increase of 133%.

The campaign to expand abortion access in Ireland

A review of Ireland’s abortion legislation is currently being undertaken by the Department of Health, while abortion campaigners in Ireland are campaigning for abortion access to be even more expansive.

The ‘Termination for Medical Reasons’ group have stated that their “number one” request is the total decriminalisation of abortion for medical practitioners, who can face up to fourteen years in prison if found guilty of providing an abortion outside the provisions of the 2018 Act.

The ‘Abortion Rights Campaign’ is requesting that the ‘DIY’ at-home abortion service, permitted under lockdown regulations, be made permanent. They are also in favour of eliminating gestational limits enshrined in the current abortion law.

There are also ongoing calls to enforce censorship zones around medical premises where abortions are performed. In the wake of the referendum vote in 2018, Minister for Health Simon Harris pledged to legislate for “safe access zones”. However, this legislation is yet to be proposed and the Department of Health has said that “a number of legal issues were identified which necessitated further consideration”.

A spokesperson for Right to Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “Every single abortion represents a failure by society to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies. Those who campaigned to repeal the eighth amendment claimed that this would not increase abortion figures in Ireland, but the figures evidence a very large increase. It is tragic that not only has Ireland failed to protect the unborn, but that campaigners are seeking to further radicalise regulations, and even decriminalise abortion entirely”.

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Dear reader

Thanks to the support from people like you, last year a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Domestic Abuse Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on five separate fronts:

  1. Pro-abortion MP Rupa Huq has brought forward an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to introduce a jail term of up to two years if a pro-lifer offers support or advice to a woman near an abortion clinic. This is a threat to unborn babies and to freedom of speech.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  5. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

To cover this gap and ensure we effectively defeat these proposals during this period, we must raise at least £200,000.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

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