25 legal abortions recorded in Ireland last year

Number of terminations under Act was one less than in 2014 and 2015

It is the first time the number of terminations carried out has fallen since new abortion legislation was introduced in 2013. Photograph: Getty images

It is the first time the number of terminations carried out has fallen since new abortion legislation was introduced in 2013. Photograph: Getty images

 

Twenty-five terminations were carried out under the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act last year, the Department of Health has confirmed.

This is the first time the number of terminations carried out has fallen since new abortion legislation was introduced in 2013.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has put a report from the Health Service Executive before the Oireachtas detailing the number of terminations under the 2013 Act from January 1st-December 31st, 2016.

One termination was carried out based on the risk to the life of the mother by suicide, 16 due to the risk from physical illness and eight based on an emergency situation from physical illness.

The information published is restricted to limit the prospect of identifying the women involved, according to the department.

The number of terminations is one less than in 2014 and 2015, and similar to estimates made by doctors who gave evidence to the Oireachtas hearings on abortion in 2013.

The HSE’s report shows that two applications for review were made to it under section 9 of the Act. The review committee found that both applications met the criteria for a termination of pregnancy under the Act.

In 2015, the HSE received one application for review, which did not meet the required criteria.

Abortion is prohibited in Ireland except in three circumstances: where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman arising from a physical illness; when there is an immediate risk to the life of the woman arising from a physical illness; and when there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the woman arising from suicidal intent.

The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 was enacted on July 30th, 2013, and commenced on January 1st, 2014.

In order for a termination to take place, two medical practitioners have to examine the woman and jointly certify that the risk to her life can only be averted by carrying out the procedure.