460 end pregnancies in UK
23 Mar 2012
INSIDE the last three years, a reported 460 women from Limerick travelled to the UK to have their pregnancies terminated. The figures were obtained by the Limerick Post as calls were being made for the Government to tackle the promised abortion legislation, 20 years after the infamous X case. According to figures supplied to this newspaper by the British Department of Health, in 2008, 2009 and 2010, 4,402 women travelled from Ireland to the UK to terminate their pregnancies.
Of those who gave addresses here, 460 said they lived in Limerick. But the true figure may be even higher, as more than 2,000 Irish women did not give their county of residence when registering for the procedure.
The numbers travelling from Limerick are relatively high in comparison to neighbouring Clare, where 216 women made the journey to avail of the service which is legal in the UK. Galway women account for 570 terminations in comparison.
The UK Department did not give a breakdown between city and county or for individual years and the names of women who sought abortions are never revealed.
According to the British Family Planning service, the cost of the operation - which is illegal here - is between £520 and £1,600, depending on how far advanced the pregnancy is.
This week, the Rape Crisis Network, the National Women's Council and the Irish Family Planning Association, called on the government to legislate for abortion after what the organisations say is "20 years of inaction".