UK abortion data shows 15% of Irish married

Three-quarters of Irish residents in UK for abortion describe themselves as single

Analysis of data shows Irish residents are more likely to have an abortion later in pregnancy than their English or Welsh counterparts. Photograph posed by model. Photograph: Ken Towner

Analysis of data shows Irish residents are more likely to have an abortion later in pregnancy than their English or Welsh counterparts. Photograph posed by model. Photograph: Ken Towner

Tue, Aug 6, 2013, 01:00

Some 15 per cent of of Irish residents who travelled from Ireland for an abortion in England or Wales last year were married.

Seventy-six per cent were single while the marital status of the remaining 9 per cent is listed as “other” or “unknown”, new statistics show.

Data from the UK’s department of health provides information on the age category and gestation period of the 3,982 Irish residents who had abortions in England or Wales last year.

The statistics also reveal whether they received a medical or surgical termination and the grounds under which they received an abortion under UK law.

Analysis of the statistics shows Irish residents are more likely to have an abortion later in pregnancy than their English or Welsh counterparts: 68 per cent of Irish residents had an abortion in the first nine weeks of pregnancy compared with 77 per cent of English and Welsh residents.

Surgical

A further 17 per cent of Irish residents had abortions at between 10 and 12 weeks’ gestation (compared with 14 per cent in England and Wales) while 12 per cent of Irish residents had abortions at between 13 and 19 weeks (compared with 8 per cent in England/Wales). Some 1.7 per cent of English/Welsh residents had abortions at 20+ weeks compared to 2.5 per cent of Irish residents.

A majority, or 86.4 per cent, of the abortions carried out on Irish residents were surgical while the remainder were medical. This differs from the UK where there was an even split between the two types of procedures.

The statistics also provides a detailed breakdown by county for the 3,093 who provided this level of information.

The detailed statistics show that, although nationally just 9 per cent of Irish residents who travelled to England or Wales for abortions were under the age of 20, the rate was at least twice as high in counties Waterford, Carlow and Kildare.

One in five Irish women who availed of an abortion in England or Wales last year had had one previous termination or more. This figure was higher in some counties such as Longford, where just under a third of the women who had an abortion last year had had a previous termination.

However, Irish residents who travelled to the UK for an abortion were less likely to have had a previous abortion than their counterparts in England and Wales: 36 per cent of English and Welsh residents who had an abortion last year had had at least one previous termination, compared with 19 per cent of Irish residents.

Three-quarters of Irish women who had abortions in England or Wales last year listed their ethnicity as “white Irish”.

A further 258 women, or 6.5 per cent, stated that their ethnicity was “white other” while “white British” was listed in 203 cases.

A further 76 Irish residents cited their ethnic group as “black” and 57 women said they were “Asian” while the same number stated “Chinese or other ethnic group”.