172 local women travelled to the UK for an abortion
172 women from Sligo have travelled to the UK for an abortion between 2012 and 2016, fresh figures reveal.
According to the UK Department of Health and Social Care, 172 women gave a Sligo address when they travelled to England or Wales for an abortion over the five-year period.
Specifically, the number of women from Sligo who travelled include 38 in 2012, 33 in 2013, 34 in 2014, 38 in 2015, and 29 in 2016.
The figures are revealed today by Together For Yes as they launched their national conversations tour last week. ‘Get Together For Yes’ will visit 22 locations over 12 days, and the tour aims to create a space for open and honest discussion about the 8th amendment.
Get Together For Yes’ will visit Sligo on Wednesday May 16, 2018.
Campaign Co-Director Orla O’Connor said: “These figures from the Department of Health and Social Care in the UK lay out in stark detail the numbers of women from Sligo who have travelled to the UK for an abortion between 2012 and 2016.
“They prove that abortion is a reality in Sligo - it is just unsafe and unregulated. The figures don’t even take account of the number of women in Sligo who may have taken an abortion pill or travelled to another jurisdiction in Europe for an abortion.
“Overall, more than 18,000 women in Ireland travelled to the UK for an abortion during the five-year period.
“These include women from Sligo. The vote on May 25 therefore isn’t a vote on whether to bring abortion to Ireland – because it is quite clear that it is already here. It is a vote on whether Ireland wants to make abortion safe, regulated, and provide care to women who need abortions, or to continue allowing unsafe and unregulated abortions to take place in our country. “Currently we know that abortion pills are being ordered online in increasing numbers by women in Ireland - three women a day are taking a pill in the secrecy of their own bedroom or bathroom, without any medical supervision or support whatsoever.
“A range of medical experts including Dr Peter Boylan say this is dangerous and highlights the need to regulate abortion in Ireland.
“The majority of women who take abortion pills are already mothers. Regulating the use of pills would ensure women would be able to take them with the GP – not alone in her bathroom without any medical support.
“These issues will be among those which we look forward to discussing with people as part of our national conversations tour which began on Sunday 6 th and will run for 12 days.
“Together For Yes looks forward to bringing our message of care and compassion for women in crisis pregnancy into towns and local communities across Ireland and encouraging people to start their own conversations about the referendum with family and friends,” O’Connor concluded.
Women are ordering pills online.