LONDON, December 13, 2012, ( – For years, abortion promoters have traded on the slogan that legalised abortion is needed in Ireland so that women do not have to go to the UK to get the “life-saving treatment.” The only problem with the claim is that the statistics show it is utterly fictional, Ireland’s leading pro-life group has found.

An examination of the data from the UK government going back 20 years has shown that all the abortions carried out on Irish women traveling to Britain have been for social or economic reasons. Not one woman travelling from Ireland to the UK for an abortion did so out of any urgent medical need.

The Committee for Excellence in Maternal Healthcare, (CEMH) a group of obstetricians,  gynecologists and other experts in maternal care, examined the data available under the freedom of information act from the Department of Health. They found that between 1992 and 2010, no abortions were carried out on Irish women under Section F of the UK Abortion Act, which requires records to be kept of abortions that were carried out to “save the life of the mother.”


The same data show that no abortions were carried out on Irish women, in the same period, under Section G, which allows abortions to “prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.”

Dr. Eoghan de Faoite, a spokesman for the CEMH, called the claims of the media and the abortion lobby “misleading,” “false,” and “without foundation.”

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“This data makes clear what Irish women have known all along – they do not have to leave Ireland to seek abortions if their life is in danger. In fact, not one abortion has been carried out to save an Irish woman’s life since the X case, despite the frequent and misleading claims of those who support the provision of induced abortion,” de Faoite said.

The CEMH issued the Dublin Declaration in September, following an International Symposium on Maternal Health. It said, “The prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

Indeed, the data from the World Health Organisation and other international health groups have shown that Ireland’s rate of maternal mortality and morbidity is the lowest in the world, with their abortion prohibitions in place.

Niamh Ui Bhriain, head of the Dublin-based Life Institute, told, “We hear this constantly in the Irish media that when a woman has a condition that is life threatening they are forced to travel to Britain for ‘life saving’ abortions there. It is the constant refrain that a woman who has cancer or other serious conditions must go to England or they will die in Ireland. This simple investigation into the public data, however, has shown this claim to be entirely untrue.”

Ui Bhriain commented on the importance of the revelation in light of the uproar in Ireland over abortion. She said this “hugely significant” information will be brought to the attention of government immediately.

“The evidence is in – and it completely dispels one of the most-repeated myths of abortion campaigners.”