Minister reveals number who travelled from Louth to UK for abortion in 2016

Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Minister reveals number who travelled from Louth to UK for abortion in 2016

Minister reveals number who travelled from Louth to UK for abortion in 2016

83 women from Louth travelled to the UK in 2016 for an abortion, according to figures revealed by Minister for Health, Simon Harris, yesterday.

In his opening statement on the Report of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment, Minister Harris revealed the number of women who travelled from each county in Ireland to the UK in 2016 for an abortion.

In Monaghan, 15 travelled to the UK in 2016 and 100 from Meath. 3,265 women in total, travelled from Ireland to the UK in 2016 for an abortion.

In his speech, Minister Harris had this to say regarding the figures:

“These are not faceless women. They are our friends and neighbours, sisters, cousins, mothers, aunts, wives.

“Each woman is dealing with her own personal situation and making what is a deeply difficult decision.”

“Because this time around, let’s be honest about this – this is not a decision or a procedure that anyone undertakes lightly.

“Women agonise about it. Women consider every possibility for dealing with the particular crisis facing them.

“And sometimes they arrive at the conclusion that there is no other option for them but to terminate their pregnancy.”

The Taoiseach, who is yet to reveal his own opinion on the issue, has previously told the Dáil that he is committed to holding a referendum in May or June of this year.

Louth Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick, who was one of three members of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment who disagreed with the committee’s proposals, told the Dundalk Democrat last month that he would “prefer” if there wasn’t a referendum on the abortion issue.

Deputy Fitzpatrick told the Dundalk Democrat, “I am a man of my conscience. What’s the point in representing your constituency if you can’t express your opinion?”

The Dáil debate continues this afternoon. You can follow the proceedings here