The Department of Health has reported that 6,577 abortions took place in 2020, a figure almost equivalent to the 6,666 abortions which took place in 2019, the first year of the new abortion regime.
Pro-life organisation, the Life Institute, said that the “deeply saddening” scale of abortions taking place showed that the procedure was “anything but rare”.
“We were promised, voters were promised, that abortion would be “rare” post-repeal, but for the second year in a row, we have seen a huge rise in the number of abortions carried out in contrast to when abortion was illegal in Ireland,” said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute.
She said every abortion was a tragedy, and was also a failure of society to support and care for women.
“This shocking rise in the abortion rate, with twice as many women undergoing abortion here as previously travelled, is indicative of the government’s complete lack of interest in reducing the number of abortions taking place,” she said. “The reality is that this number will continue to rise.”
Ms Uí Bhriain said the upcoming review of the abortion law should include an examination of how to reduce abortion rates by offering women real supports and “genuine compassion”.
She added that any attempt to scrap the 3-day waiting period should be strongly resisted, as it would lead to a further immediate rise in abortion numbers.
“We know from a Private Question asked in the Dáil by Carol Nolan TD, that almost 1,000 women changed their mind and did not proceed with having an abortion during the 3-day waiting period after the initial consultation. Only the most hardened extremists would want more abortions to take place, most people want fewer abortions. The 3-day waiting period must stay,” she said.