Wednesday 26 September 2018

Number of legal abortions fell in 2017

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Fifteen abortions were legally carried out in Ireland last year, including two where the woman was at risk of suicide, new figures have revealed.

The annual report on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act showed eight pregnancies were terminated due to physical illness and five were carried out in a medical emergency.

One woman, who was initially turned down for an abortion, had a review and was granted the termination.

The figure marks a considerable fall in abortions compared to previous years.

In 2016, there were 26 abortions, one of which was due to suicide. In 2015, some 26 legal terminations were carried out.

Abortion is currently allowed in limited circumstances, where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, including risk of suicide since the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2014 was commenced.

More than 3,000 women travel abroad for abortions annually and around 1,000 terminate pregnancies through the illegal use of abortion pills.

Since the passing of the referendum on the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in May, the Government has pledged to extend the grounds for legal abortion.

It is planned to allow unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks and terminations in later pregnancy in cases where the life and health of the mother is at risk.

It will also be allowed in cases of a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis.

The legislation is expected to be introduced to the Oireachtas in the next Dáil term.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News