Eight women a day travelled from Ireland to England and Wales last year to access an abortion, new figures reveal.
This week’s abortion statistics report from the UK Department of Health found that 3,092
women from the Republic of Ireland had legal terminations in English and Welsh clinics.
This figure has decreased from 3,265 in 2016 to 3,091 in 2017. This week’s report has not identified specific county numbers, however, it was revealed earlier this year that 388 women in Donegal travelled to the UK for an abortion between 2012 and 2016.
Irish women and girls make up 64.3% of the total number of abortions for non-residents in 2017. 19% were from Northern Ireland.
The number of women travelling from Northern Ireland for terminations rose from 724 in 2016 to 919 last year.
The highest abortion rate in the UK is amongst women aged 20-24. This is an increase on 2016 (27.0 per 1,000), but the rate has declined steadily since 2007.
Abortion is due to be legally provided in Ireland from early 2019, following last month’s vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
Irish citizens voted by 66.4% to 33.6% to change the constitution and allow the government to legislate on terminations in certain circumstances. The draft law is expected to be presented to the Dail before summer recess.