Ireland Women Get Fewer Abortions in Britain but Advocates Want it Legal

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 6, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ireland Women Get Fewer Abortions in Britain but Advocates Want it Legal Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Maria Vitale Staff Writer
July 6, 2006

Dublin, Ireland ( — Pro-abortion forces in Ireland are renewing their call to legalize abortion in that abortion-free nation, following news that 15 Irish women travel to England each day to obtain an abortion. However, the latest figures show the number of Irish women getting abortions there is on the decline.

Figures from the British Health Department show that the number of Irish women going to England for abortions has actually declined 632 compared to the figure in 2004. It’s the fifth consecutive year that the number has declined.

In all, 5,585 Irish women traveled to England for abortions in 2005.

The number of Irish teenagers seeking abortions has also declined significantly—from 903 in 2001 to 655 in 2005.

Meanwhile, the number of Irish women over the age of 40 seeking abortions increased slightly—from 257 to 280.

A spokeswoman for Alliance for Choice, Sian Muldowney, was quoted as saying, “Ireland needs to face up to its responsibility to Irish men and women to provide a comprehensive sex education strategy, a national sexual health services strategy and safe and legal abortion in Ireland.”

The Irish Family Planning Association claims the decline in the number of Irish women traveling to England for abortions is because they’re now going elsewhere in Europe seeking abortions.

The Planning Association’s Rosie Toner told the media, “The number of women attending our post-abortion medical services and counseling, who indicate that they had [abortions] in other EU states, such as Holland, Spain and Belgium, has grown very significantly in the past 18 months.”

Toner claims the euro-sterling difference makes obtaining abortions in England quite expensive, causing women to search for alternatives.

Toner told the Irish media, “Access to the Internet, as well as cheaper and more frequent airfares around Europe, have made traveling beyond England a real option for women.”

Meanwhile, Olive Braiden of the Crisis Pregnancy Agency said, “It is heartening that the number of women traveling to the UK for abortion procedures is decreasing, though we should bear in mind that a small number of women could be traveling to other countries.”