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New figures Department of Health reveals 6,577 abortions were carried out in Ireland last year

The Department of Health was notified of 709 terminations in January - the most of any month in 2020

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There were more than 6,000 abortions carried out last year

There were more than 6,000 abortions carried out last year

There were more than 6,000 abortions carried out last year

New figures from the Department of Health reveal that 6,577 abortions were carried out in Ireland last year.

There were 89 fewer than in 2019 when women could legally access the service in the Republic for the first time.

Of the respondents, around 36 per cent of women said they were living in Dublin at the time of their procedure, while almost 10 per cent were residing in Cork.

There were also 36 terminations in Northern Ireland in the same period, while no county was given in the case of 425 procedures.

The Department of Health was notified of 709 terminations in January - the most of any month in 2020.

December was the month with the least amount of terminations, at 327.

In terms of fetal anomalies, 97 abortions were carried out following a diagnosis of a condition likely to lead to the death of the foetus.

Abortion Rights Campaign spokesperson Helen Stonehouse said that despite the pandemic, the fact that a similar number of people had an abortion in Ireland to the previous year, showed that abortion “is very much an essential service”.

“It also indicates the success of providing abortion as a telemedicine service during the past year, which clearly should be retained going forward,” she said.

“What is not captured in this report is how many people were refused abortion in Ireland, how many had to travel long distances within Ireland or beyond, and how much distress was caused by the unnecessary barriers within the current abortion law.

“Despite the legalisation of abortion, we know that many people continue to face stigma and shame when accessing abortion care in Ireland.”

Eilís Mulroy of the Pro Life Campaign said the figures released today by the Department of Health represent “a massive increase in abortions since repeal happened”.

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“When you add today’s figure of 6,577 to the 194 abortions on women from Ireland who travelled to England in the same period, the total number of Irish abortions in 2020 was 6,771,” Ms Mulroy said.

“This represents a massive 70 per cent increase since 2018, the year prior to the introduction of abortion.

“Today’s abortion figures are devastating and are the opposite of what members of the Government repeatedly promised when they said abortions would be ‘rare’ if people voted for repeal.

“Voters were misled every step of the way by these same politicians. After today’s news, it cannot be ‘business as usual’ just because certain politicians and media commentators don’t want to take responsibility for what they have created.

Abortions increased by close to 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 over the previous year prior to the onset of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“In the space of only two years, everything that the pro-life movement warned would happen has sadly come to pass.”

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