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Call for government to establish special task force after abortion rate spirals to 10,000

The Life Institute has called for a special task force to be established to tackle what it described as a "spiralling abortion rate", saying that the government must "wake up"  to the fact that abortion numbers have more than tripled since 2018. 

The pro-life organisation made its call after the Department of Health confirmed this week that more than 10,000 abortions had taken place in 2023.

"Instead of acting as cheerleaders for abortion, and even considering liberalising the law even further, the government needs to realise that the abortion rate must now be treated as an emergency that urgently needs full attention," Sandra Parda of the Life Institute said.

“We’re calling on the government to treat this matter as an emergency and set up a special task force to look at the shockingly high number of abortions and what can be done to tackle that and offer real options to women,” the organisation said. "The law clearly is not working and must be changed."

The Life Institute pointed to the confirmation that 10,033 abortions took place last year, saying it represented a three-and-a-half fold increase on the number of abortions performed prior to the vote to Repeal the eighth amendment in 2018, when 2,879 abortions were recorded for women travelling from Ireland to Britain.

"Everyone was shocked by the jump to 6,666 abortions in the first year - in 2019 - but the numbers keep spiralling," Ms Parda said. "In 2022, there was a jump to 8,156 abortions but now we've seen more than 10,000 lives ended in twelve months, another 19% jump in just one year."]

"This is deeply shocking, but its being met by radio silence from most of the media, while the government simply looks the other way at this time every year when these ever-increasing numbers are announced," she said.

The pro-life spokeswoman said that a major pro-life rally set to take place on Saturday would "hear a strong call for the government to set up an urgent task force to tackle the spiralling abortion rate".

"We need to help women and provide supports, and work to change the culture,  instead of aborting our future, and ignoring the harm of abortion," she said.

Life Institute have announced that Kaya Jones, Grammy winner and former singer with band The Pussycat Dolls, will speak at this year's pro-life Rally for Life, beginning on Sat 6th July at 1:30pm in Parnell Square.

Ms Parda said that Ms Jones would address the issues of abortion regret and the exploitation of women by the music industry.

She said that Ms Jones's experience resonated with young women in particular and that when society said that it was "pro-choice", it was really telling women they were on their own.

"Kaya has described in stark terms how she believes the music industry controls and abuses young women, including pressuring them into having an abortion. She also gives an important insight into how a culture which does not value human life, and sees unborn babies as disposable, leads to women having multiple abortions and then living with the sad and heart-breaking consequences," Ms Parda said.

New figures also show that the annual cost of abortion through Irish GPs and hospitals has reached €7.4 million a year, which includes €5.6 million paid to GPs, whilst €1.7 million has been spent in hospitals.

Carol Nolan TD said that she supported the establishment of a task force to address the rise in abortions.
"I have stated previously that we are now confronting an epidemic of loss. That, coupled with the virtual certainty, that the numbers of abortions will continue to escalate at an annual level, this should be treated as a health policy emergency," the Independent TD told Gript.
She previously said that Ireland is now facing an “epidemic of loss,” adding that there is an “under-promotion” of alternatives.
“This is now an epidemic of loss,” she said.  “Thousands of women are being betrayed by the over-promotion of abortion as the only possible response to pregnancy in certain circumstances and the cruel under promotion of life affirming alternatives.

"I will continue to shine a light on this issue so that women and families are fully supported with the kind of wrap around service provision that will meaningfully assist them in choosing a different path beyond that of abortion," the Offaly TD said.

Máirín de Barra

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