14/12/2015

Almost 25,000 Women Travel To England And Wales For Abortion

Almost 25,000 women from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) travelled to England and Wales to have an abortion over the last five years, new data has revealed.

The new figures were obtained by Detail Data from the Department of Health in London.

Another key finding from an analysis of the abortion figures for 2010-14 is that almost half of all the abortions involving women from Northern Ireland and the RoI took place in Manchester clinics.

The findings are being published as the issue of access to abortion continues to be hotly debated on both sides of the Irish border.
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Abortions are only available in Northern Ireland if a woman's life is at risk or where there is a risk of a serious and adverse effect on her physical or mental health which is either long term or permanent. The punishment is life imprisonment for anyone who unlawfully performs a termination.

Abortion is also illegal in the RoI, except where the pregnancy presents a real and substantial risk to the mother's life.

Northern Ireland Amnesty campaigner Grainne Teggart said: "The Northern Ireland and Irish governments don't mind women having abortions just as long as they're not here in Ireland.

"Abortions not being lawful doesn't mean that women don’t have abortions, it means that they either resort to desperate measures or they seek those services elsewhere."

(CD/LM)

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