Irish women are accessing abortion pills online over travelling to the UK

Nick Mcbride
June 13, 2017

This compares to 3,451 who gave an address in the Republic and 833 who gave an address in Northern Ireland in 2015.

Some 3,265 women gave Irish addresses in 2016 - a drop of nearly 200 on the previous year. More needs to be done to help women in such desperate situations.

Johnson told us she anxious this meant that debate on abortion would continue to be about "restricting and reducing" abortion rights rather than considering more progressive changes to the law.

As a result, hundreds of women in Northern Ireland are forced to travel to other parts of the access abortion services but they are not entitled to a termination paid for by the National Health Service, the letter said.

"Thousands of women and girls are forced to travel overseas every year to seek abortions, treated like criminals and traumatized by the shame and stigma that result from these laws", said Gauri Van Gulik. These figures are always going to be a conservative estimate.

Nearly half of the women, 1,597, were married or in a civil partnership.

Some 3,265 women gave Irish addresses at clinics and hospitals in England and Wales last year - a drop of nearly 200 on the previous year and down from 6,673 in 2001.

A county-by-county breakdown of Irish women who travelled for abortions shows Monaghan recorded the fewest, at 15, while Dublin was the highest, at 1,175.

The Pro Life Campaign welcomed the fall in the number of women travelling and acknowledged the availability of the abortion pill online was a factor.

Helen Deely, head of the Health Service Executive's sexual health and crisis pregnancy programme, said there was a rapid fall in the numbers of women travelling from 2001 to 2007 and a more gradual fall in the last nine years.

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The HSE Crisis Pregnancy Agency said the decline in the number of women travelling overseas for an abortion has become more gradual after a period of steep falls between 2001 and 2007.

"The reality is that making abortion illegal does not stop women from having an abortion when they need to".

The agency also said one in 10 women who took abortion pills reported to the provider that they were experiencing a symptom that required medical advice or treatment.

"We are marching in support of the right to access abortion in NI and against a Tory working agreement with no democratic mandate with a political group known to promote policy which restricts the rights of women and LGBT people and is known for links to far right politics", a spokesperson for the march wrote on its Facebook events page.

"This is the second case within a year where the United Nations has found Ireland's abortion laws to be grossly out of step with its worldwide human rights obligations". In November, the State offered to pay her €30,000 in compensation.

In a statement, Ms Whelan said, "I am very pleased with the decision".

"If I wanted to end the pregnancy, I would have to travel to another jurisdiction". The Citizens' Assembly has given the Government a clear imperative to reform the law.

Hoctor said that, if enacted, this would bring Ireland in line with most other European countries.

Under Ireland's constitution, the Eighth Amendment can only be repealed by popular referendum.

Other reports by VgToday

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