Estimates that 800-900 abortions a month are being carried out in Ireland have been described as “a devastating tragedy” by the Pro Life Campaign.
While there are no official figures as to the number of abortions which have taken place in Ireland since new abortion laws came into effect the START group, which represents about 250 medical professionals involved in abortion provision, said its members estimate they are carrying out between 800-900 terminations a month.
RTE also report the private company Affidea, which is providing ultrasounds as part of abortion services, as having carried out around 500 since the start of the year.
They also report the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, which runs more than 70 clinics in the UK, as claiming the number of women with Irish addresses accessing abortion services between January and March as having decreased from 257 last year to 64 this year, a reduction of 75%.
Commenting on START’s figures today, Pro Life Campaign spokesperson Maeve O’Hanlon expressed dismay that rather than being horrified at the number of abortions taking place, these medics were complaining that additional changes are needed to facilitate even more abortions.
"It is stunning how the goal posts keep shifting without any scrutiny or hard questions being asked. The public were misled every step of the way during the referendum campaign when they were told abortion would be restrictive in the event of the Eighth Amendment being repealed.
"But now the sad truth is starting to emerge. Pro-life campaigners were accused of scaremongering but based on the latest estimates, if anything, they underestimated what would happen.
“Factoring in the number of abortion pills previously bought online and the drop in the number of Irish women travelling to England for abortions, 800-900 abortions per month would still represent an almost trebling of Ireland’s abortion rate or over 11,000 abortions in one year.
"If this turns out to be true, it is a devastating tragedy and a huge indictment on the Government for all the misleading statements made during the referendum campaign and the refusal to support positive alternatives to abortion. Health Minister Simon Harris closed his eyes and ears to everyone who warned what would likely happen.
She went on to say the pro-life movement is bruised but not beaten after last year’s referendum.
"We are hugely encouraged at the way pro-life volunteers remain committed given the setback that happened. Responsibly and persistently, we will fight on to ensure the truth gets out about the kind of abortion regime this Fine Gael-led government has introduced. You only have to look at what’s happening in other countries to see that this battle is far from over.”