Tuesday November 9, 2010

Irish and Italian Women Rejecting Abortion: Stats

By Hilary White

ROME, November 9, 2010 ( – Abortion is losing ground in some countries of Europe, with numbers of abortions falling in Italy among native Italians and among Irish women who travel to Britain to abort.

The number of women travelling to the UK from Ireland for abortions has dropped 30 percent since 2002, government statistics show. Abortion remains illegal in Ireland and Northern Ireland, although the law is under constant pressure from foreign abortion activists.

At the same time, a recently released report from the Italian government shows that abortion rates have fallen significantly among Italian women since the practice was legalized in 1978.

Under the UK’s abortion Regulations 1991, doctors who commit abortions must send details to Britain’s Chief Medical Officer. In 2002 those records showed that 7,913 abortions were committed on women from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales.

By 2009, that number had fallen to 5545 – a drop of 29.9 percent.

Abortions in England and Wales overall have risen steadily since 1970, from approximately 5 per 1000 population aged 15-44, to 17.5 in 2009.

The Italian government’s 2009 report on abortion shows that abortion rates have also dropped among Italian women. In that country, abortion rates reached a peak of 234,801 in 1982. By 2009, that number had fallen to 116, 933, less than half the peak-year number. The numbers have declined steadily over the last five years.

At the same time, it is being reported by pro-abortion groups and MEPs at the EU that doctors in Italy are increasingly refusing to commit abortions. Seventy percent of Italian doctors refuse, with that number growing to over 80 percent in the region of Lazio, the region of the city of Rome.

In 2009, the Italian abortion rate was 8.3 per 1,000 women aged 15-49, a 3.9 percent decline from 2008. This compares with the 1982 ratio of 17.2 per 1,000. In 2008, the official statistics showed that foreign women accounted for 33 percent of all abortions in Italy, compared with 10 percent in 1998.

Andrew Pollard, a British business consultant and demographer who lectures on issues surrounding contraception and abortion as it relates to population decline, cautioned, however, that the abortion stats may be skewed by the popularity of the RU-486 abortion drug, commonly called “medical” abortion by advocates.

Pollard told LSN, “These numbers may reflect actual declines in surgical abortion but not the rise in chemical abortion which may be replacing it. But like contraception the chemicals don’t always work or are not taken properly so women in these situations turn to pregnancy centres (savers or killers) all the same.”

| Send Letter to Editor