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New figures show that there is no "unmet demand" for abortion in Northern Ireland.

25 January 2018

Liam Gibson 

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has responded to news that the number of abortions performed in Northern Ireland in 2016/17 fell from the previous year.

Significant drop

Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland Development Officer, said: "That the number of abortions taking place within Northern Ireland has continued to decline is certainly a good sign. Although the actual reduction from the previous year is modest, a drop from 16 to 13 is significant because it is part of an overall downward trend. 

"The number of women from Northern Ireland travelling to England for abortion has also declined," Mr Gibson continued. "In 2016 it fell to 724, less than half of what it was in 2001. Greater awareness of the damaging nature of abortion and better practical help for women facing crisis pregnancies has meant fewer women have felt compelled to abort their children."

No unmet demand

"This downward trend also shows that the claims that there is an unmet demand for abortion in Northern Ireland are simply false," Mr Gibson went on. "The pressure to liberalise Northern Ireland’s abortion laws is not coming from within the Province, it is led by abortion providers, such as Marie Stopes International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service."

"The abortion industry’s frustration at its lack of success in the Province also lies behind proposals to by-pass Northern Ireland’s elected representatives in order to liberalise the law. News that Westminster may be considering how liberal abortion might be imposed on the Province is very disturbing. It is becoming increasingly clear that in order to achieve its aims the abortion lobby is prepared not only to disregard basic civil rights like freedom of speech, but the entire democratic process," he concluded.

Notes to editors:

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