Ireland – Abortion data shows progress made in abortion care but way to go to universal access

Press release, Abortion Rights Campaign
June 30, 2020

“The release of Ireland’s first abortion figures demonstrates a reality we have long known to be true: Irish people get abortions. They always have, they always will. Now, for the first time in the country’s history, free, safe, legal abortion is possible; the repeal of the 8th has brought an end to forced travel overseas or importing pills illegally for many in Ireland,” said Cathie Shiels, Co-convener of the Abortion Rights Campaign.

These figures, which showed that 6,666 people had an abortion in Ireland in 2019, are not comparable to statistics used in the past. Previously, we have relied on UK data which we always knew to be an undercount that failed to capture Irish residents who gave UK addresses, travelled to other destinations overseas or imported pills illegally.


‘North is next’: fresh fight for grassroots power that beat Ireland abortion ban

'North is next’: fresh fight for grassroots power that beat Ireland abortion ban
Women who rallied across borders to win referendum have their sights set on Northern Ireland and northern Australia

Melissa Davey
Fri 1 Jun 2018

Just a few years ago, the Abortion Rights Campaign in Ireland was predominantly active in the capital of Dublin. By the time a landslide 66.4% of the country voted on 25 May to repeal the eighth amendment and give women easier access to abortion, the Abortion Rights Campaign had 36 offshoot groups outside the capital, including in counties where Catholicism and conservatism are deeply entrenched.

The Dublin-based organiser for the Abortion Rights Campaign, Cathie Shiels, knows how hard it is to stand in the middle of a remote Irish-Catholic town holding up a placard advocating for abortion reform. She comes from Donegal, close to the Northern Ireland border and the only county that voted “No” in the referendum.