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Devastating figures for first full year of abortions in Ireland

By Ann Marie Foley - 01 July, 2020

There were 6,666 abortions in Ireland during the first full year since abortion was legalised here according to newly released figures.

“Add in the 375 Irish women who still went to Britain for abortions, and the total comes to 7,041, a terrible figure,” stated the Iona Institute.

This means that up to 20 abortions were carried out every day. “One of the slogans of abortion campaigners down the years has been that abortion should be ‘safe, legal and rare’. Does 7,041 strike you as rare?” it stated.

The statistics are included in Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 – Annual Report on Notifications 2019, published on 30 June.

“This (6,666 abortions) compares with a figure of 2,879 for the full year of 2018,” said Maeve O’Hanlon, Prolife Campaign (PLC) spokesperson. “It’s the first time in 18 years that there has been an increase in the number of abortions, and the first time in our history that thousands of innocent unborn babies have had their lives ended with the full backing of Irish law.”

She added: “Today, the reality has caught up with the lie that repeal would make Ireland a kinder, more gentle and compassionate country. The State sponsored choreography of abortion needs to end immediately and give way to an open and honest debate, where the voices of those who regret their abortions and others are afforded the opportunity and space to be heard.”

The report revealed that the majority of abortions came under the ‘early pregnancy’ category (6,542), while 100 were carried out because of a ‘condition likely to lead to the death of a foetus’. A further 21 abortions were carried out because of ‘risk of life or health (of the mother)’ while 3 were performed because of ‘risk to life or health in an emergency’.

“98.2% of abortions that took place happened where there was no threat to the health or the life of mother or child notified,” said Peadar Tóibin of Aontu. “The figures released today are startling figures.”

Maeve O’Hanlon, PLC, also pointed out that before the law changed, GPs had the role of preserving life. That all changed as GPs had to facilitate abortion and the taking of human life as part of their job.

“GPs are paid €450 by the State for every abortion they perform, more than twice what they would typically receive for caring for a mother and her baby during pregnancy. This is the stark shocking reality of what is now permitted in Ireland, all in the name of progress,” she said.

“The mark of a truly progressive society is one that treats every human life as ‘someone’ with an inherent value, and not as ‘something’ devoid of value to be disregarded as someone else’s choice,” she added.

There were between 490 and 625 abortions per month according to the report. The majority were carried out in Dublin (2,493) and the least were in Leitrim (27). The Iona Institute stated that this is not enough detail about the women who have abortions and why they have them.

“Compared to reports produced by other countries, the Irish report gives no details about the mother and the child. There is no mention of age, marital status, ethnicity, number of previous abortions, etc. This is deliberate. When the abortion law was discussed in the Dáil, the amendments presented by some pro-life TDs to have more demographic details in the report were rejected. How can we prevent abortions if we don’t know more details about who has them and why?” said the institute in a statement.

The Act permits termination to be carried out in cases where there is a risk to the life, or serious harm to the health, of the pregnant woman including in an emergency; where there is a condition present which is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before or within 28 days of birth; and without restriction up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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