Number of Louth women who travelled to UK for abortion in 2016

Ruben Hill
June 13, 2017

All of the procedures on Irish-resident women were privately funded.

This represents just over 1% of the total number of Irish women who travelled to the United Kingdom past year for an abortion, making Louth the eighth highest county for number of women travelling.

Women from the Republic accounted for 68 per cent of non-residents attending clinics in England and Wales, while those from Northern Ireland accounted for another 15 per cent (833).

The vast majority of the women who gave addresses from the Republican lived in Dublin - 1,175.

Women in the age groups ranging from 20-39 accounted for most of the terminations.

Of those from the Republic, 10 girls were under 16 and another 56 were aged between 16 and 17.

Around 169,000 women and girls have travelled from Ireland to the United Kingdom to have abortions since 1980.

United Kingdom records show 3,265 women gave an address in the Republic when attending clinics in England and Wales in 2015, nearly nine a day.

"We expect to see women's human rights defended and protected no matter what "deals" are struck in the coming days and months, and as Brexit is negotiated", Rachel Krys, co-director of EVAW, said in a statement. These figures are always going to be a conservative estimate. As abortion is nearly entirely illegal in Ireland, it is impossible to accurately collect data on the number of women who choose to terminate a pregnancy.

It pointed to recent research which suggests more women from Ireland are accessing providers of abortion pills.

"This affects hundreds of women each year". This annual decline in numbers is very encouraging.

"There is no doubt the availability of the abortion pill online is a factor in the fall in the numbers of women travelling but it is being grossly exaggerated as a reason by pro-choice campaigners".

There is a great need for the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to support pregnancy resource centres like Stanton Healthcare Belfast, which offers women life-affirming advice, maternity and baby supplies, and practical assistance.

While still high, the figure of women travelling to the United Kingdom from Louth for an abortion is down on the figure of 94 from 2015. Most disturbingly, one woman died after an abortion.

The figures are contained in a report published by the department. Women who suffer complications after taking such pills should seek treatment from a hospital or GP immediately, it said. No woman in a crisis pregnancy should ever feel that abortion is her only option.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) said one internet supplier reported 1,438 contacts from women in 2015.

About 80% of the women from Ireland had not had an abortion before, the report stated.

Forty-three cases related to a diagnosis of Down's syndrome.

At the time of the Mellet decision, the government cited the work of the Citizens' Assembly in its response to the case.

The suffering I endured because I had to travel to access health care was inhuman.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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