Number of legal abortions in Ireland dropped by 40% last year

15 abortions were carried out in Ireland under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act

Number of legal abortions in Ireland dropped by 40% last year

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

Fifteen legal abortions were carried out in Ireland last year.

The report on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 shows eight were carried out because of a risk of physical illness to the mother.

Five abortions arose as a result of emergencies arising from illness while two terminations were carried out because of the risk of suicide.

The figures only count abortions that happened in Irish hospitals and do not include those who travelled for a termination.

The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act became law in 2013 and was commenced in January the following year.

It allows for three circumstances under which abortion is permitted.

  • When there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman arising from a physical illness.
  • When there is an immediate risk to the life of the woman arising from a physical illness.
  • When there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman arising from suicide intent.

The 15 abortions carried out in 2017 amounts to 10 less than the year before.

New legislation to legalise abortion is currently being drafted in the wake of the Referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

It is understood the legislation will not be introduced until the autumn due to ongoing court challenges to the referendum result.