The Pro Life Campaign has said that the sharp reduction in the number of women travelling to England for abortions comes as no surprise following changes to the law in Ireland making abortion widely available here.
The official statistics released today by the British Department of Health* reveals that the number of women travelling to England for abortions declined from 2,879 in 2018 to 375 in 2019, a decrease of 87%.
Commenting on the latest abortion figures, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson, Maeve O’Hanlon said:
“It was inevitable that the number of Irish abortions occurring in England would drop considerably following repeal of the Eighth Amendment. The heart-breaking reality remains however that regardless of where it happens, with every abortion that takes place a new and unique human life has his or her life ended.
“Since the introduction of wide-ranging abortion here in 2019, the focus of the Government has been in rolling out abortion provision nationwide rather than highlighting and promoting positive alternatives to abortion.
“The impact of the new abortion regime will become clearer when today’s figures are added to the number of abortions that took place here in 2019. Irrespective of what these soon to be released figures reveal, we already know that for the first time in our history thousands of unborn babies have had their lives ended in this country with the full backing of the law. It doesn’t matter how it is packaged or presented, there’s nothing progressive about such a sad and troubling development.
“Before repeal happened, Ireland’s abortion rate was recognised as one of the lowest anywhere in the world and was continuing to decrease further year on year. With abortion now widely available here, it would an enormous undertaking to succeed in continuing to reduce the number of abortions taking place, but it’s something as a society we should most definitely set our minds to achieving. It has already happened in a small number of countries with legalised abortion and it could happen here if the political will existed to engage with those who have valuable contributions to make on how best to create a more welcoming society for expectant mothers and their unborn babies. It would necessitate a sea change in attitudes in government and while that may appear very unlikely right now, it is something we will never give up on working towards.”
*Summary Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2019.