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Abortion statistics show the positive impact of mainstreaming abortion into reproductive healthcare

By June 30, 2020News

The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has welcomed the publication today (30.06.20) of the first annual statistics for termination of pregnancy.

IFPA Chief Executive, Niall Behan, said: “This is a landmark: it is the first time we have had Irish government data on the level of need for abortion. It provides a valuable national overview of access to abortion care in Ireland.

“For years, we have relied on statistics compiled by health services and non-governmental organisations in other countries to understand the need for abortion care in Ireland. We now have robust domestic data: more than 6,600 women were able to access safe and legal abortion care in Ireland last year.”

Mr Behan continued: “The vast majority of terminations (98%) took place in early pregnancy, in line with international trends. The county-by-county breakdown shows that women from all parts of Ireland, including Northern Ireland, were able to access abortion under the 2018 legislation.

“Ireland is moving in the right direction in relation to the provision of sexual and reproductive health services and the fulfilment of reproductive rights. But there is more to do. Reforms to sexuality education and contraception access are urgently needed. And we know from UK statistics, published earlier this month, that not all women and girls who need abortion care are able to access it in Ireland.”

Mr Behan concluded: “The new government must prioritise reforms to contraception access and sexuality education and ensure that the 2021 review of the abortion law focuses on enhancing access to abortion care so that no one is left behind.”

ENDS

 

Contact: Maeve Taylor, Director of Advocacy and Communications: Tel: 086 795 2167

 

Note to Editors

  • Abortion in Ireland is regulated by the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018. So long as a three-day waiting period has elapsed, abortion care is lawful on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion is also lawful for reasons of risk to a woman’s life or of serious harm to her health and in cases of fatal foetal anomaly. Abortion remains criminalised in all other cases. However, the criminal provisions do not apply to a woman in respect of her own pregnancy. Abortion is free to persons normally resident in Ireland.
  • The IFPA is Ireland’s leading sexual health provider. The organisation offers a comprehensive range of services which promote sexual health and support reproductive choice on a not-for-profit basis, and promotes the right of all people to comprehensive, dedicated and affordable sexual and reproductive health information and services.
  • The 2019 Annual Report on Notifications under the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 can be accessed here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/b410b-health-regulation-of-termination-of-pregnancy-act-2018-annual-report-on-notifications-2019/
  • The 2019 abortion statistics for England and Wales can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/abortion-statistics-for-england-and-wales-2019