Late-stage terminations add to the Irish abortion fiction
Almost twice as many Irish women (31) had late-stage abortions in England and Wales last year compared to 2013 when 16 such pregnancies were terminated after the legal time limit of 24 weeks.
The legal limit for abortions was previously 28 weeks under the Abortion Act 1967, but the limit was lowered to 24 weeks in 1990 after a radical overhaul of Britain's fertility laws.
Very few abortions take place after 24 weeks, with the vast majority (92pc) carried out at under 13 weeks gestation and eight out of 10 carried out at under 10 weeks. But late-stage terminations can be availed of (after certification by two doctors) after the 24-week legal limit in cases of severe foetal abnormality, where there is a grave risk to the life of a woman, or a grave risk of physical and mental injury to her.