The one-week externships, at the largest London clinic of the British Pregnancy Advisory Services in Richmond, allowed students to witness how abortion procedures are carried out.
A spokeswoman for BPAS said demand from students in Ireland exceeded the course capacity and a number of applicants had to be turned away. She said BPAS had already received five applications from students in Ireland for next year, despite not yet having advertised the scheme.
Richard Lyus, who mentored students on the BPAS scheme, said he felt “both sadness at the state of affairs which requires them to leave their country to gain this experience, and optimism for the future of women’s healthcare in Ireland that they have the motivation to do so”.
The Richmond clinic carries out approximately 200 abortions a week, both surgical and medical.
Yesterday, BPAS urged the Government to “stop washing its hands of the 4,000 women who have to travel to Britain to access abortion care every year”.