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"Abortion remains an election issue for committed voters" says campaign

Abortion remains an election issue for committed voters who are "shocked and deeply concerned at spiraling abortion rates" the Life Institute has said ahead of tomorrow's voting for local and European elections.

Spokeswoman for the Life Institute, Sandra Parda, said that they had seen an increase in the number of people contacting the organisation in the past fortnight and that a Vote Pro Life information campaign was receiving "significant engagement" as the election date drew near.

"The abortion figures really are deeply shocking, especially given that voters were promised in the 2018 referendum that abortion would be 'rare'. Instead we've seen at least 42,000 abortions in just over 5 years, the spiralling rate horrifies even many Yes voters in our experience," she said.

Life Institute say that the Department of Health have confirmed that 6,666 abortions took place in 2019 - with a further 6,577 and 6,700 in the following years. In 2022 the abortion figures jumped to 8,156 - and it has been estimated from data released to Carol Nolan TD that some 10,000 abortions took place in 2023.

"That's more than 38,000 abortions in just five years, and taking even the 2022 total of 8,156 abortions and the trend in 2023, suggests that at least 4,000 abortions have taken place in 2024 so far," she said. "42,000 abortions is almost the population of Dundalk, its heartbreaking."

She said that the landslide double NO vote in the referendums in March had led to many people questioning the policy of the government around abortion. "People are wondering, given the spiralling numbers, why the government is considering scrapping the 3-day wait and not instead rolling out initiatives to help women chose life for their baby," she said.

Ms Parda said that, just as in the referendum, the current Irish representation in the EU Parliament was "massively out of kilter with where voters were at in relation to abortion".

"We saw almost every MEP - including Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael - vote in the European Parliament to make abortion a "fundamental right"," she said. "We don't believe that to be a position shared by the Irish people, and the issue of Irish sovereignty is also undermined."

She said that the Life Institute was a non-political organisation which did not endorse any candidate and that the guide sought to provide voters with important information in regard to one of the "most pressing human rights issues of our time."

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