Tuesday 20 August 2019

Revealed: 15 legal abortions carried out last year in Ireland

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

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

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

The figure marks a considerable fall in abortions compared to previous years. In 2016 there were 26 abortions, one of which was due to the risk of suicide.

In 2015 some 26 legal terminations were carried out.

Abortion is 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 was commenced.

Over 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 recent referendum on the repeal of the Eighth Amendment the Government has pledged to extend the grounds for legal abortion.

It is planned to allow unrestricted abortion up to twelve 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 Dail term.

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