According to the Irish Department of Health, 6,666 abortions were perfomed in the Republic at Irish taxpayers’ expense, including 67 from Northern Ireland, 15 residents from other countries and 525 for whom no Irish county or foreign country is known. The British Department of Health reports that 375 Irish residents were aborted there in 2019, about 24% of whom were not ethnically Irish.
Overall, the number of abortions involved is 7,041, 82 of whom were definitely not residents of the Republic. This would leave the number of residents of the Republic at 6,959.
There were 2,879 abortions of Irish residents in 2018. The 2019 abortions represent a 142% increase in one year. Irish abortions had peaked in 2001 but fell steadily over the next 17 years ending in 2018.
Year Abortions As % Births Abortions per 1000 (women aged 15-44) TFPR
2018 2,879 4.7% 2.9 1.8
2019 6,959 11.6% 6.9 ?
Note: A TFPR of 2.1 is internationally recognised as balance of births and deaths necessary to maintain the population. In 2018 the Republic was below replacement level and will be more so in 2019.
Comment: Every human being has a basc right to life whatever his or her race, creed or colour. This also applies to the unborn child from conception and was universally acknowledged up to quite recent times. Almost all religious denominations in the Republic opposed the deletion of the 8th Amendment. A minority of the total electorate supported the deletion of the 8th Amendment. But what the 8th Amendment protected was a natural basic right to life of the most loveable and defenceless human beings. As Mr. Éamon de Valera once said – “The majority have no right to do wrong.”
The Irish Department of Health’s report on the 2019 abortions is a very poor copy of the British Department of Health’s format, apart from their confusion about the exact number of residents of the Republic who had abortions. The British statistics give useful information on the women who have abortions regarding age, marital status, type of abortion, ethnicity and multiple past abortions by the client. This is vital information for pregnancy counsellors.
The number of babies killed by abortion in 2019 is over four times the number of deaths from the Covid–19 virus about which we are all so deeply concerned.
John O'Reilly is secretary of the Second Look Project