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Irish women have had almost 25,000 abortions in the UK in the last five years

Manchester was the destination for more than a third of those travelling.
Dec 14th 2015, 8:39 AM 14,584 389

IRISH WOMEN HAVE travelled to England and Wales for 25,000 abortions in the past five years, new data has revealed.

This works out at an average of 100 terminations a week for women from both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The information has been obtained from the Department of Health in the United Kingdom by Belfast-based journalism project Detail Data.

Details on the age of those receiving the procedures and the locations that they have been carried out are also included.

Where are the procedures being carried out?

In total 19,947 girls and women from the Republic of Ireland and 4,652 from Northern Ireland travelled to the UK for terminations between 2010 and 2014.

The most used clinic was one located in Manchester, where 46% of women and girls from the Republic and 41% of those from Northern Ireland travelled.

In its figures Detail Data has cautioned that the numbers are only for those that have given addresses in Ireland, meaning the actual figure could be higher.

The data also includes girls under the age of 16 – and shows 152 from the South and 69 from the North made the journey.

Current legislation 

Currently abortions are only available in Northern Ireland if a woman’s life is at risk or if there is a risk of a serious long-term effect on her physical or mental health.

Abortion in the Republic of Ireland is currently illegal, except in circumstances where there is a real and substantial risk to a mother’s life.

The new research estimates that the cost of making the trip ranges from around £400 to £1,500 (€550 – €2,070).

The full dataset from Detail Data can be examined here.  

Read: Renua candidate steps down after labelling Vatican ‘the Antichrist’

Also: Sexual health group targeted for helping a 10-year-old rape survivor seek an abortion

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Michael Sheils McNamee


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