Irish Abortion Rate Declines for 9th Consecutive Year

Pro-Life Group Calls Trend "Extremely Encouraging"

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LONDON, May 25, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The latest Irish abortion figures released yesterday by the British Department of Health show a further reduction in the number of Irish women travelling to Britain for abortions.

The figures are found in the Summary Abortion Statistics of the Statistical Bulletin of England and Wales: 2010.

In 2010, 4,402 Irish women travelled to Britain for abortions, down from 4,422 for the previous year. It is the ninth consecutive year that Irish abortions have declined after more than a decade of upward trends. It marks a 34% decline since the high of 6,673 Irish abortions in 2001.

Responding to the latest figures, Dr. Ruth Cullen of the Pro-Life Campaign said that her organization "welcomes the continued downward trend in abortions" and rejects the idea that the "reduction in abortions may be a result of more Irish women travelling to countries other than England for abortions."

"This is purely anecdotal as there is no statistical evidence to back up these claims," she said. "In fact, the official figures for countries like Holland have shown a drop in recent years of abortions on foreign nationals."

Over the past nine years, there has been a 34% decline in Irish abortions.

“It is an extremely encouraging trend and should be welcomed by everyone on both sides of the abortion debate,” Cullen said. “For years, abortion advocates claimed that an upward trend in abortions was inevitable. These claims have now proven to be false.”

Ireland’s abortion rate is now 4.4 per 1,000 female residents aged 15-44, whereas England’s is 17.5.