A clinic in Manchester accounted for close to one third of all abortions for women with Irish addresses over the last five years. Women from the island of Ireland had almost 25,000 abortions in England and Wales between 2010 and 2014.
New data obtained from the Department of Health in London by Belfast-based journalism project Detail Data reveals the individual clinics the women attended.
Almost half (45 per cent) of all of the terminations took place in Manchester; 11,116. Of these, 7,182 (30 per cent) took place in one clinic; Marie Stopes International.
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In Liverpool 4,462 abortions involving women resident in Ireland were recorded. London had the third highest number with 3,267 terminations across 10 clinics. Abortions cost from £400 (€550) to £1,500 and Manchester can be quicker and cheaper to get to than some other cities in England.
In total, 4,652 terminations for women from the North and 19,947 from the South were recorded. Some women may have had more than one abortion over the time period covered. The figures include children under the age of 16 – 152 from the South and 69 from the North.
Not all women give their home addresses and some Irish women may travel to other countries for terminations. Some resort to sourcing abortion pills online which has raised health concerns among experts.
Abortion is illegal here except where the pregnancy presents a real and substantial risk to the mother's life. Terminations are only available in Northern Ireland if a woman's life is at risk or where there is a risk of a serious and adverse effect on her physical or mental health.
Detail Data is a partnership between The Detail, an investigative website, and NICVA, a representative body. It is financially supported by the Big Lottery Fund and Atlantic Philanthropies.