Drop in the number of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics

The rate of women travelling to the UK fell from 3.5 per 1000 women to 3.1

Drop in the number of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics

Picture by: Harriet Line/PA Wire/PA Images

New figures show a further decrease in the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in England and Wales.

Statistics issued by the UK Department of Health show the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics has dropped from 3,265 in 2016 to 3,091 in 2017.

This equates to a decrease in the rate of women travelling to the UK for an abortion from 3.5 per 1000 women in 2016 to 3.1 per 1000 in 2017.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) says this follows the general downward trend in these rates over the past number of years.

The Netherlands emerged as the only other jurisdiction to which women from Ireland travel for abortion procedures in any numbers.

However comparable figures for 2017 are not available.

Back in 2016, the Dutch Ministry of Health said 22 woman who gave an Irish address used abortion services there.

The HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme (SHCPP) also reported that women from Ireland are continuing to contact online providers of abortion pills in large numbers.

One online provider reported that 1,217 women from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland 'received the medical abortion pill' from their service in 2017.

A second online provider said that 878 women from the Republic of Ireland 'used the service' last year.

 

Helen Deely, programme lead for the HSE SHCPP, said: "If a woman takes an abortion pill and has prolonged heavy bleeding, bad pain, faints, or experiences other complications, we strongly encourage her to attend an emergency department or GP straight away.

"If a woman is in any way concerned about her health following taking an abortion pill or travelling abroad for an abortion, we encourage her to attend a free post-abortion medical check-up funded by the HSE."

Post-abortion services are free of charge - a full list of services is available here

A list of crisis pregnancy services is also available here