Numbers of Irish going to UK for abortion

A total of 3,265 women and girls gave Irish addresses at abortion clinics in England and Wales last year, according to statistics for 2016 released by the UK Department of Health.

This brings the number of women and girls who gave Irish addresses at abortion clinics in England and Wales to 168,703 since 1980.

Commenting on these latest figures, Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) Chief Executive, Niall Behan said: “These reports are an annual indictment of Ireland’s treatment of pregnant women. The State excludes women who opt not to continue unintended pregnancies from the healthcare system, forcing them to seek care outside of Ireland. This is reproductive coercion.

The IFPA said that in 2016, of the 3,265 women and girls who provided Republic of Ireland addresses at abortion clinics throughout England and Wales, 48% were aged between 20 – 29 and 37% were between 30 – 39 years old.

“Women from Ireland tend to access abortion later than those living in the UK, with 69% of women from the Republic of Ireland doing so between three and nine weeks gestation. The figure for women resident in England and Wales is 81%.”