Number of Ireland Women Heading to Britain for Abortions Drops Again

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 19, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Number of Ireland Women Heading to Britain for Abortions Drops Again Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 19
, 2007

Dublin, Ireland ( — New figures show the number of women in Ireland who travel to Britain for abortions is one the decline again. For the sixth time in a row, the abortion travel figures have gone down as 543 fewer Irish women sought abortions in the UK from 2005 to 2006.

The statistics reveal 5,042 Irish women traveled to Great Britain for abortions in 2006, which is down from 5,585 the previous year.

Pro Life Campaign spokesperson Dr. Ruth Cullen, told the Evening Echo newspaper she welcomed the news.

"It indicates the tide is moving in the right direction and that a growing trend towards abortion is not inevitable," she said.

"Some argue the reduction in the abortion rate may be because more Irish women opt for abortion in other European countries. However, there is no statistical evidence to substantiate such claims."

Ireland is one of a handful of European nations, along with Poland and Malta, that prohibits abortions. Portugal was also in that list of pro-life nations until its government legalized abortion earlier this year.

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.

Government officials are looking into this to determine whether that’s the case. They think it is unlikely because abortion is available throughout the UK and costs and time associated with traveling to the neighboring nation is reduced compared to travel to other countries.

Statistics from last year showed a trend that fewer Irish teenagers were going to Britain for abortions while women over the age of 40 were going at slightly higher rates.