Northern Ireland conducted 16 abortions in year 2015/2016

Abortion figures for North for last two years have been lower than previous years

There were 16 abortions carried out in Northern Ireland hospitals in 2015/2016, the same number as the previous year, according to the North's Department of Health.

Abortion is legal in the North when there is a threat to the life of the woman or a risk of a serious and adverse effect on her physical or mental health.

The figures for the past two years are lower than in previous years. There were 23 abortions in Northern Ireland in 2013/2014; 51 in 2012/2013; 35 in 2011/2012; 43 in 2010/2011; 36 in 2009/2010; and 44 in 2008/2009.

The department said it should be noted that, due to the small numbers of abortions, relatively large fluctuations can expected from year to year.


The department said that all 16 abortions were carried out on women normally resident in Northern Ireland. Nine terminations were carried out on women 30 years and over, five on women aged 25 to 29, and two on women aged 24 and under.

The 1967 British abortion Act does not apply in Northern Ireland. It is estimated that about 1,000 women from the North travel to Britain annually for abortions under the Act.

Before the dissolution of Stormont and the calling of elections for March 2nd, the former Alliance leader, David Ford, was planning to introduce a private Bill that would allow abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.

He said that if re-elected for South Antrim he would resubmit his Bill.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times