The Westminster Department of Health released its report on abortion statistics in England and Wales for 2015 today. Statistics revealed that 833 women travelled from Northern Ireland to have an abortion in England and Wales. This is a slight decrease from last year’s 837 figure.
3,451 women travelled from the Republic of Ireland for an abortion in England and Wales in 2015. This is a significant decrease from the 3,735 women who travelled last year.
Of the 185,824 abortions carried out on women resident in England and Wales, there were complications reported in 294 cases. Most disturbingly, one woman is reported to have died after an abortion.
Bernadette Smyth, the director of Precious Life, the leading pro-life group in Northern Ireland, commented on today’s statistics:
“Considering last year’s and this year’s intense media coverage of calls for a change in the law on abortion in Northern Ireland, Precious Life are relieved to find that the number of women travelling from Northern Ireland to England and Wales for an abortion has once again decreased from the previous year. We also welcome that there has been a significant drop in the number of women travelling from the Republic of Ireland to England and Wales for an abortion.
“But a lot more work needs to be done to support life-affirming pregnancy care centres here and the counselling and practical support available to women facing crisis pregnancies in Northern Ireland. Precious Life are calling on the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to ‘step up’ and promote these centres and the wonderful services they have to offer.
“The reported 294 cases of ‘complications’ and the disturbing revelation that one woman lost her life after an abortion in England and Wales in 2015 substantiates Byron Calhoun’s, John Thorp’s and Patrick Carroll’s findings in 2012 that maternal health in England and Wales, with its higher rates of all morbidities and mortality associated with legalised abortion, continues to lag behind maternal health in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, our pro-life laws protect both mother and child. The Northern Ireland Assembly must continue to defend and uphold our pro-life laws.”