Record numbers of Irish women visit Britain for abortion
- By: Doug Payne
The abortion issue in the Republic of Ireland - never far from the public consciousness - is bubbling up again. New figures show that a record number of women from the republic had abortions in Britain in the first three months of this year - 1520 compared with 1458 last year, an increase of 4%. In total, 5892 women who had abortions in Britain last year gave their address as being in the republic, compared with the 1997 figure of 5336.
In addition, about 2000 women from Northern Ireland also travel to Britain each year because the United Kingdom's 1967 Abortion Act does not apply in the province. Only about 90 legal abortions are carried out there each year.
The latest increase in the republic reinforces a consistent upward trend of the past 25 years: in that time, the number of reported abortions in Irish women has quadrupled, while the