Fewer Irish women are traveling outside the country to abort their unborn babies, according to government statistics released this week.
Ireland voted to repeal its pro-life Eighth Amendment on May 25 after abortion activists claimed women were suffering because they had to travel outside the country for abortions.
Government statistics tell a different story. They suggest that many Irish women do not want abortions. In the past 16 years, the number of Irish women who traveled to abort their unborn babies dropped by more than 50 percent.
The Irish Examiner reports 3,092 women traveled from Ireland to England or Wales to abort unborn babies in 2017, according to the UK Department of Health. The numbers declined by 5 percent from 2016 (3,265) and approximately 50 percent from 2001 when 6,673 traveled for abortions.
“This is the sixteenth consecutive year that the number of Irish women seeking abortions in England has declined. It is something positive that should be welcomed by everyone,” said Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign. “Sadly repeal of the 8th Amendment and making abortion available in Ireland will inevitably lead to an increase in the numbers of abortions taking place.”
Abortion advocates attributed the drop to increased access to abortion drugs online, according to the Examiner. Sherlock acknowledged that this probably was a factor but noted that the numbers began dropping before the abortion drugs were widely available.
“It should be noted that the decline in the number of abortions has been happening for sixteen years straight, a period of time that well predates the availability of abortion pills online,” she said.
While abortion numbers dropped in Ireland, they rose in 2017 in Northern Ireland, according to the data. Sherlock attributed the increase to UK health leaders who began offering free, taxpayer-funded abortions to Northern Irish women in 2017. She said the numbers jumped 46 percent in the third quarter of 2017 and 62 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
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“There is no doubt that there is a link between tax funded abortions and the upward spiral in the loss of innocent human lives,” Sherlock said. “It is disgraceful the way abortion campaigners bury their heads in the sand when it comes to tragic facts like this.”
Abortions are illegal in Northern Ireland, but abortion activists are pushing it to abandon its protections for unborn babies just as Ireland did on May 25. Sections 58 and 59 of the Northern Ireland Offenses Against the Person Act make it a crime to abort an unborn baby. If those sections would be repealed, there would be no protections whatsoever for unborn babies at any stage of pregnancy.
In Ireland, lawmakers are considering a proposal to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks and up to 6 months for a wide variety of circumstances.