Leading pro-life group Precious Life has welcomed the latest government statistics which show a continued decrease in the number of women from Northern Ireland having abortions in Britain. The abortion statistics for 2016 reveal a big reduction of 13% from the previous year. According to the figures released by the Department of Health in England and Wales, a total of 724 women from Northern Ireland travelled to Britain for an abortion in 2016, compared to 833 the previous year.
Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth said, “We welcome the fact that 109 fewer Northern Ireland babies have been killed by abortion in Britain. This is proof that our strategies and campaigns are working. In the past ten years the number of women from here travelling to Britain for abortions has decreased by massive 54% – the number has more than halved!! This annual decline in numbers is very encouraging. More and more women are choosing life for their babies as a direct result of the daily work of Precious Life in helping and supporting vulnerable women in crisis pregnancies.”
Ms Smyth continued, “But more work needs to be done. ‘724’ is not just a number in the statistical tables, to be looked at and then forgotten about. 724 women felt they had no choice but to have an abortion. More needs to be done to help women in such desperate situations. No woman in a crisis pregnancy should ever feel that abortion is her only option. There is a great need for the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to support pregnancy resource centres like Stanton Healthcare Belfast, which offers women life-affirming advice, maternity and baby supplies, and practical assistance. With more support for women we can expect to see further reductions in the numbers of abortions.”
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The statistics also revealed that there were 294 serious complications during the abortions carried out in England and Wales in 2016. Most disturbingly, one woman died after an abortion.
Bernadette Smyth concluded: “Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, our pro-life laws protect both mother and child. The 294 complications and the death of a woman caused by abortions in Britain should be a glaring reminder to our politicians in the Northern Ireland Assembly that they must defend and uphold our pro-life laws. Precious Life will continue working to keep abortion not only illegal but unthinkable!”