Even if the Pro Life Campaign highlights the fact that figures published yesterday, detailing how almost 10 women with an address in the Republic have an abortion in England or Wales each day, represents the 14th consecutive decline in the figures, the situation demands an informed response from Irish legislators and voters.
British records show that 3,451 women gave addresses in the Republic while attending abortion clinics in England or Wales last year. This shows there has been a 48% fall in the number of women travelling to Britain to end a pregnancy since 2001. This decrease, no matter what your view of access to abortion is, must be welcomed because it is, in any circumstance, a deeply traumatic experience and one not lightly entered into.
Yesterday’s figures were published days after Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe said it is his “expectation” that a vote will be held on the issue in the coming years. Fine Gael has promised a citizens’ convention will consider how to resolve difficulties around the Eighth Amendment. If this is an attempt to resolve the issue, fine; if it is just kicking the can down the road one more time, then something more substantial is needed.
Mr Donohoe’s comments came after Ireland was criticised by the UN because abortion remains illegal even in cases of rape, incest, and fatal foetal abnormalities.
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