123 abortions took place in North from 2008 to 2011


The North’s Minister of Health, Edwin Poots, has clarified figures for abortions that have taken place in Northern Ireland.

Following a query by the Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister, Mr Poots asked for an updated audit of abortion information from the North’s Health and Social Care Board.

Under legislation in Northern Ireland, abortion is permitted only where the life of the mother is endangered.

Mr Poots, in a written statement to the Northern Assembly yesterday, acknowledged that there were doubts over the previous data because there was no distinction between medical abortion and the more specific termination of pregnancy.

The new figures, according to Mr Poots, under the termination of pregnancy distinction, showed that there were 44 such abortions in 2008-09, 36 in 2009-10 and 43 in 2010-11.

Mr Allister said these figures remained surprisingly high, given that termination of pregnancy could only legally take place when the life of the mother was at risk.