Number of abortions and teen births fall again

The number of women having abortions fell again last year, marking the 12th successive year in which the abortion rate has decreased.

The Crisis Pregnancy Service annual report revealed that the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics last year was 3,679 — a 45% decrease compared to the equivalent figure of 6,673 in 2001.

The report also showed yet another fall in the number of teenage crisis pregnancies, with 3,087 births to teenagers in 2001 compared with 1,381 last year.

Writing in the foreword to the latest annual report, Helen Deely, head of the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme, said service delivery had continued last year despite staff losses in some areas.

According to the report, the website received approximately 15,000 visits in 2013, while 66% of the target audience was aware of the ‘Positive Options’ campaign and its message regarding talking to a counsellor.

The website received more than 100,000 visits and approximately 5,000 text messages were received requesting crisis pregnancy counselling information in 2013.

A freetext ‘Abortion Aftercare’ service received approximately 200 messages requesting information on post-abortion services, while received around 9,000 visits.

New research is being conducted, including the Sexual Health and Education Needs of Young People in Care research programme. The research, the first of its kind internationally, will be used to support needs of young people in residential and foster care.

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