– Release date: 06 June 2000
6,214 Irish Abortions Recorded in UK in 1999.
Rate of Increase in Official Stats has now Slowed.
Figures released today by the UK office for National Statistics show that the rate of increase in the number of women giving an Irish address, when obtaining an abortion in England and Wales, has slowed dramatically but that the total known number is now 6,214, the highest figure to date.
These statistics show an annual rate of increase for 1999 of 5.48 %, substantially lower than the 11.65% increase recorded in 1998. The total recorded figure in 1998 was 5891.
The IFPA stresses that these statistics, as before, include only those women giving an address in the Republic of Ireland. Those who disguised their home address (for whatever reason) will not have been included. In this context these statistics should not be regarded as complete.
"Statistics now closer to reality"
Commenting on the latest statistical analysis, the IFPA's Chief Executive Tony O'Brien today said: "Each of the women reflected in these statistics is an individual and we should never lose sight of that when discussing figures. It is obviously of concern that the reported numbers continue to grow at a time when as a country we are doing very little to seriously tackle the underlying issue of unplanned pregnancy.
"The IFPA has contended for some time that the increases recorded in recent years were the direct result of a more open society rather than, necessarily, a true increase in the numbers travelling. We have never had a complete picture because of the sensitivity of the abortion issue and the particular need to protect anonymity which exists here.
Tony O'Brien continued: "The 1995 Information Act has had a huge impact on the willingness of women to discuss their unplanned pregnancies and to be more open with friends and family. This has now fed through to more Irish women disclosing their correct addresses to abortion clinics in England. The IFPA believes that the high rates of increase, seen in British statistics in the last few years, represents a progressive realignment of the statistics so that they are now closer to reality. The Information Act has done a great service to individual women and our collective knowledge of the reality of Irish Abortion. An average of almost 120 women per week gave an Irish address when having an abortion in England in 1999. That is about 23 women per day of clinic service."