The data disclosed following a recent Parliamentary Question shows there were a total of 8,057 initial consultations for access to abortion in 2020. However, of these initial consultations, 6,577 women went through with having an abortion that year. Thus, a total of 1,480 women opted to continue with their pregnancy.

This data shows the sizeable proportion of women who change their mind between the first consultation when discussing abortion with their GP and actually going through with the abortion. It shows that the three-day waiting period before an abortion can take place is saving lives and should be retained.

Calls from pro-abortion activists to have the three-day waiting period suspended must continue to be strongly resisted. While no one can claim that all 1,480 women who opted to continue with their pregnancy did so because of the three-day waiting period, it is reasonable to posit that a significant number of these babies lives were saved as a result of their mothers having some extra time to think through whether to proceed with the abortion or not.

The Government has a duty to reflect on what the data is showing and retain the three-day waiting period which has ensured that babies that otherwise would be dead are alive and thriving today.