The Pro Life Campaign his welcoming the latest Irish abortion figures released today by the British Department of Health,* which show that the number of Irish women travelling to Britain for abortions has decreased for the twelfth consecutive year.
In 2013, 3,679 Irish women travelled to England and Wales for abortions, down from 3,982 in 2012, a 7.6% decrease. 2013 is the twelfth consecutive year that Irish abortions have declined and represents a 44.8% decline since the high of 6,673 Irish abortions in 2001.
Every abortion is an immense human tragedy but the huge drop in numbers travelling to Britain for abortion over the past 12 years is a positive development. While it is difficult to draw firm conclusions, a recent report from the HSE/Crisis Pregnancy Programme** showed an increase in the number of women expressing abortion regret. In that study, 44 per cent of women expressed varying degrees of regret about their abortions up from 33 per cent in a similar HSE study in 2003.
The outright refusal of groups like the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) to acknowledge the evidence of abortion regret does a huge disservice to women.
Likewise the legislation introduced by the Government last year which provides for abortion in the case of threatened suicide is not based on a shred of medical evidence. While this law has not been fully activated yet in the absence of Department of Health regulations, it will inevitably in the years to come lead to an increase in the numbers of abortions taking place as all it takes for an abortion to be granted is for two like-minded psychiatrists to sanction away the life of an unborn baby without having to base their decision on any medical evidence whatsoever.”
The legislation voted through the Dáil in 2013 had nothing to do with concern for women’s health. If it had, the Government would not have ignored the evidence in the wilful way they did. The motivation was ideological and was the fulfilment of a 20 year campaign by the Labour Party to introduce an abortion regime in Ireland.
*Summary Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2013. The full report published today by the British Department of Health is available here
** Irish Contraception and Crisis Pregnancy Study 2010 (ICCP 2010), published in May 2012 (HSE/CPP)