Irish more likely to have later abortions, UK data reveals

Statistics show 16 Irish women had termination at 24 weeks or over

Irish residents received abortions at 24 weeks or over in 16 cases last year

Irish residents received abortions at 24 weeks or over in 16 cases last year

Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 07:10


Women travelling from Ireland are more likely have an abortion later in pregnancy than residents of England and Wales, UK department of health statistics reveal.

The figures show that 68 per cent of Irish residents who had an abortion in England or Wales last year were in the first nine weeks of pregnancy compared to 77 per cent of English and Welsh residents who had a termination.

A further 17 per cent of Irish residents had abortions at between 10 and 12 weeks compared with England and Wales, where the rate stood at 14 per cent.

Twelve per cent of Irish residents had abortions at between 13 and 19 weeks compared to 8 per cent among English and Welsh residents while 2.5 per cent of Irish residents had abortions at 20 weeks or over compared to 1.7 per cent of English/Welsh residents.

Irish residents received abortions at 24 weeks or over in 16 cases last year.

Of the 3,982 abortions involving Irish residents last year 86.4 per cent were “surgical” while the remainder were categorised as “medical” .

The majority, or 96.3 per cent, were carried out on the grounds of a risk to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman. A further 93 abortions were carried out on the grounds that there was a substantial risk that, if born, the child would suffer from “physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”.

Of that figure, more than two thirds of terminations were carried out due to chromosomal abnormalities, with Down Syndrome cited in 28 cases. A further 16 cases related to cases of Edwards syndrome while there were five cases where terminations were carried out on the grounds of Patau syndrome.

A further 29 abortions were carried out on grounds of congenital malformations including five cases of anencephaly, a fatal condition in which a part of the brain does not develop.