141 Meath women had abortions in England and Wales last year
Statistics published by the UK Department of Health show that 141 Meath women had abortions in England and Wales last year.
Meath women had the fifth highest number of abortions after Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kildare.
The figures show that women from the island of Ireland accounted for 82.6 per cent of legal abortions provided to non-residents in England and Wales during 2015.
This annual report, published by the UK Department of Health, presents statistics on abortions carried out in England and Wales, and has been published in the current format since 2002.
Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) spokesperson Linda Kavanagh said, “Although the number of women from Ireland seeking abortion in England and Wales has declined year on year since 2001, the reality is that we have no idea what the reasons behind this decline are.
She said more women are likely choosing to order the abortion pill online, risking a 14-year prison sentence by doing so. We know from recent research in the UK that abortion pill providers Women on Web and Women Help Women receive around 3,000 requests for help and advice every year from women in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile the Pro Life Campaign welcomed the drop in the number of abortions for the fourteenth consecutive year.
Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said: “The further decline in the number of women travelling for an abortion is a positive development, particularly when you consider the serious adverse psychological effects of abortion for many women that are swept under the carpet far too much in public debate.
“The suggestion by some that the availability of abortion pills explains the fall in the number of women travelling for abortion doesn’t add up when you factor in that the fall in the number of abortions has been happening for fourteen years straight, a period of time much longer than abortion pills have been readily available online.
“It needs to be said however that politicians and campaigners who recklessly and illegally imported abortion pills into Ireland in recent years as part of a publicity stunt have no credibility when it comes to talking about concern for women’s health in this regard. It is highly hypocritical and opportunistic to be raising concerns about accessing abortion pills online while refusing to condemn leading members of the pro-choice movement who illegally imported these drugs into Ireland, potentially putting the lives of women and babies at serious risk,” she said.