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terminations

15 legal abortions were carried out in Ireland last year

This is a drop from 25 legally-permitted abortions being carried out last year.

A TOTAL OF 15 legally-permitted abortions were carried out in Ireland last year under the provisions of Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.

The Act was made law in 2013, and was commenced in January 2014. Under its terms, abortion is still illegal in Ireland except in extremely limited circumstances.

There are just three circumstances which relate to risks to the life of the mother in which abortion is not strictly prohibited.

These are:

  • When there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman arising from a physical illness
  • When there is an immediate risk to the life of the woman arising from a physical illness
  • And when there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman arising from suicide intent

The fourth annual report on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act was handed to the Houses of the Oireachtas today as required under Section 20 of the Act.

It showed that last year 15 legal terminations were carried out under the above conditions.

A total of eight were carried out due to a real risk from a physical illness; five were carried out due to an emergency from a physical illness; and two were carried out due to the risk of suicide.

This is a drop from 25 legally-permitted abortions being carried out last year.  

Last month, Irish people voted overwhelmingly to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, which grants the equal right to life to the mother and the unborn child.

The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act remains the primary legislation on abortion until such a time as the Eighth is repealed and legislation is passed through the Oireachtas, which would legalise abortion in many cases.

Health Minister Simon Harris said earlier this month that the legislation would not be brought to the Oireachtas before the summer recess, due to ongoing court challenges to the result of the Eighth Amendment vote.

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