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Abortion in Ireland

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Advocacy iconThe IFPA believes that abortion is an intimate aspect of private life, intricately linked with human rights values and principles that protect a women's and girls' sexual and reproductive rights. These rights include the right to life, health, privacy, non-discrimination and to be free from cruel and degrading treatment. These values are unacceptably infringed upon by the criminalisation and inaccessibility of safe and legal abortion in Ireland. The IFPA supports the choices of women and girls with an unplanned or crisis pregnancy in all circumstances.


Counselling logo The IFPA's free nationwide counselling service provides a safe, confidential, non-directive and non-judgmental space for anyone to explore their feelings about their pregnancy and to discuss their options. Upon request, counsellors will provide information on abortion services in other countries. We also offer free post-abortion counselling and free post-abortion medical checkups. IFPA counsellors will support a woman's own choice in all cases. More


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Abortion is legal in Ireland only when there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the pregnant woman, this includes the risk of suicide. It is not against the law for women to travel abroad to access abortion services or to access information on safe and legal abortion services in other countries. More


Info logoBetween January 1980 and December 2016, at least 170, 216 women and girls travelled from the Republic of Ireland to access abortion services in another country. This section contains official statistics on the number of women and girls who have given Republic of Ireland addresses at abortion clinics in England and Wales and the Netherlands. More



Stigma silences the voices of women and girls in Ireland who seek abortion. The IFPA aims to facilitate open and honest dialogue on abortion and dispel myths that stigmatise women who seek abortion. More information here.




This section contains information on IFPA events, publications and videos on abortion in Ireland, including presentations from international medical and legal experts at IFPA events, our stigma busting video Women have abortions everyday: it's just one choice, as well as the IFPA's ground-breaking publication The Irish Journey, where Irish women tell their stories of abortion. More.






The dysfunctional way Irish policy makers have dealt with women’s need for abortion in Ireland can give the impression that the abortion issue is somehow different in Ireland. This is not the case. For more than a decade, there has been a significant shift in public attitudes towards abortion in Ireland. Opinion polls consistently show increased support for access to abortion. More



Women's many reasons for choosing abortion - such as financial worries, concern about the well-being of other children, diagnosis of foetal anomaly, rape, pre-existing health problems, relationship issues - can be extremely stressful. For these women, the need to travel for abortion involves unnecessary psychological, physical and financial hardship. More



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Access to safe and legal abortion is a human rights issue. Restrictive abortion laws negatively impact on, among others, a woman’s right to life, right to health, right to privacy and right to non-discrimination. Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws deny women and girls these fundamental rights by criminalising abortion in almost all circumstances. The Irish Government has been criticised by several international human rights bodies for its failure to reform Ireland’s abortion laws, in violation of its obligations under human rights treaties. More



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Myths and facts presented out of context are all too common in the debate about abortion in Ireland. This video provides key information and statistics about abortion in Ireland to ensure that the debate is informed by facts not misinformation. Watch the video here.



In the case of A, B, C v Ireland, three women, known as A, B and C, successfully challenged Ireland's abortion laws at the European Court of Human Rights. The Court unanimously found that Ireland's failure to implement the existing constitutional right to an abortion when a woman's life is at risk violated the European Convention on Human Rights. More.







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