Abortion in Ireland

HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme media release

Number of Women Giving Irish Addresses at UK Abortion Clinics Decreases for Ninth Year in a Row According to Department of Health UK

HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme statistics show a large decline in the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in the Netherlands

The HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme (formerly the Crisis Pregnancy Agency) today commented on figures issued by the UK Department of Health which show that there has been a further decrease in the number of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics. This is the ninth successive year that a decrease has been recorded.

Since 2001 (the year the Crisis Pregnancy Agency was established), the number of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics has decreased from 6,673 to 4,402 in 2010.

In addition, there was a large decline in the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in the Netherlands in 2010. Statistics gathered by the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme show that the number of women giving Irish addresses at clinics in the Netherlands fell from 134 in 2009 to 31* in 2010.
Speaking today, Dr Stephanie O Keeffe, Acting Director of the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme said: “Since the establishment of the Crisis Pregnancy Programme we have seen a sustained decline in the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in the UK and now in the Netherlands. We will continue to work with a broad range of statutory and non-statutory partners on driving and supporting initiatives aimed at preventing crisis pregnancy and improving the supports for women who experience a crisis pregnancy. The efforts made by the Crisis Pregnancy Programme, to lead a coordinated national response to crisis pregnancy prevention and support, are reflected in the statistics presented today”

No of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics (1st list of figures)

Rate per thousand women 15-44 years  (UK) (2nd List of figures)

No of women giving Irish addresses at Netherlands abortion clinics (3rd List of figures)

No of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in both the UK and Netherlands (4th List of figures)

Rate per thousand women 15-44 yrs(UK+NL) (5th List of figures)

2001        6,673                       7.5  
2002       6,522                        7.2  
2003       6,320                        6.9  
2004       6,217                        6.7  
2005      5,585                         5.9                         42         5,627                  5.9
2006 5,042                   5.2                      461         5,503                  5.6            2007      4,686                         4.7                      451         5,137                  5.1
2008      4,600                         4.5                      351         4,951                  4.9
2009      4,422                         4.4                       134        4,556                  4.5
2010      4,402                         4.4                          31*       4,433                 4.4

Since 2001, the abortion rate of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics has declined from 7.5 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 (UK only) to 4.4 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in 2010 (UK and Netherlands statistics). The Crisis Pregnancy Programme gathers statistics to examine the patterns of women travelling from Ireland to countries other than the UK for abortion procedures. The Netherlands has emerged as the only other jurisdiction to which women from Ireland are travelling for abortion procedures in significant numbers.

Dr. O’ Keeffe added: “The abortion rate has dropped across all age groups since our establishment in 2001, particularly among teenagers and women in their 20s. Our focus will remain on consolidating the work of the programme in the context of our move to the HSE to ensure we continue to have a coordinated and strategic response to tackling the issues of crisis pregnancy and tailor high-quality supports for those who experience a crisis pregnancy.”
* The figure of 31 is preliminary, but the final figure is unlikely to be significantly different.