Alliance for Choice Press Release 23 January 2019
Government figures show just 12 women accessed abortion care in Northern Ireland 2017-2018
Today The Department of Health has released figures of termination of pregnancy statistics for 2017/2018. The report details that only 12 women accessed legal abortion care in Northern Ireland during this time.
Responding to the report Alliance for Choice co-chair Emma Campbell said:
“This report shows that the chilling effect of the most recent guidelines are continuing to have on medical professions, as each year fewer and fewer people can access NHS care at home in NI. The very limited circumstances for legal abortion have been interpreted more strictly as the real threat of prosecution looms, meaning doctors are not willing to risk caring for their patients.”
Danielle Roberts from Alliance for Choice commented on the recent developments in abortion access for Northern Irish Abortion Seekers
“ For over a year we have had funding for women and pregnant people who travel to England for abortion care, as well as a travel grant for those on a low income. This is facilitated by a central booking system in England, however local GPs have not been given any guidance on the scheme. We also have access to the recently launched ‘MyOptions’ helpline in the South and can access private care at a cost of €450, we hope provisions for funding treatment in Ireland will be forthcoming.”
Emma Campbell concluded that the statistics demonstrate that people are being left behind by the current law
“We will keep campaigning for free safe legal and local access in the meantime the Department of Health must issue guidance to GPs on the availability of care in England, and follow up care pathways. Even those who could be considered to meet the limited legal circumstances provided in the 1861 Act and the Bourne Judgment are being denied care at home and forced to travel, break the law, or continue with a pregnancy against their will.”
More Information :-
28 people a week travel to England from NI for abortion care funded by the Equalities Office.
The figures show that no one under 24 was able to access legal abortion in NI.
Alliance for Choice campaigns for the decriminalisation of abortion, and free safe legal and local abortion care.
To date the NI Department of Health has not issued guidance to medical professionals on the funding scheme.
For information on accessing abortion visit our website - http://www.alliance4choice.com/i-need-an-abortion-now/
Report available here - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/northern-ireland-termination-of-pregnancy-statistics-201718
For further Information contact:
Danielle Roberts 07739259085
Emma Campbell 07894063965
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