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Ireland’s pro-life laws benefit women’s health: report

The report, comparing Ireland and Britain, contends that Ireland's abortion ban has resulted in low incidence of maternal death and still births, as well as breast cancer and mental health issues.
Thu Dec 15, 2011 - 11:06 am EST

DUBLIN, Ireland, December 15, 2011 (YouthDefence.ie) - A new report shows that Irish women have benefitted from our ban on abortion, linking our low abortion rate to low incidences of breast cancer and comparative good mental health among women.

The study, compiled by actuary Mr Patrick Carroll M.A., F.I.A. of the Pensions and Population Research Institute (PAPRI), compared statistical data on abortions carried out on women resident in Ireland and Northern Ireland from 1968-2010 with the corresponding data for Britain and discussed the implications for the health of women.

Mr Carroll said that “Restrictive laws on abortion have enabled the birth rate in the Republic and Northern Ireland to remain much higher than the European average. Today the Irish birth rates are near to replacement level and Ireland benefits from a more youthful demographic profile with less dependence on immigration than other European countries.”

He added that there were benefits for both women and children, explaining that: “it is because abortion rates are low among Irish women that Ireland shows a low incidence of maternal and infant conditions known to be abortion sequelae: still births, low weight births whether in singleton or multiple births, preterm or premature births, cerebral palsy and maternal deaths.”

“Ireland also benefits from low incidence of breast cancer and comparatively good mental health among women and a low incidence of certain diseases of the immune system, to which low abortion rates have contributed. Liberalisation of abortion laws in Ireland can be expected to result in higher abortion rates and a corresponding deterioration in respect of these conditions affecting the health of women,” he continued.

Youth Defence were invited to attend the launch of the report in Dublin, which had also been launched in Belfast yesterday at a reception attended by Precious Life and hosted by the All- All Party Pro-Life Group.

Spokeswoman Rebecca Roughneen agreed with Mr Carroll’s assertion that the discussion of premature birth rates, stillbirth rates, suicide rates, mental health, breast cancer rates, and immunological disorders all point to an urgent need to examine more fully the impact of liberalization of abortion laws and their adverse impact on women’s health.

“The report shows that more than 100,000 Irish children would have been lost to abortion if legislation had passed. We need to ensure that Ireland’s pro-life laws continue to protect mothers and babies,” she said.

Find Carroll’s report here.


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