REVEALED: Rise in number of Kilkenny woman travelling to UK for abortions
By COLIN BARTLEY
MORE women from Kilkenny travelled to the UK to have abortions in 2018 than in the previous year despite the repeal to the Eighth Amendment, new figures reveal.
According to a new report, 52 women from Kilkenny had abortions in clinics in England and Wales last year. The figure for 2017 was 43.
The figures were highlighted by the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign following the publication of a report by the UK Department of Health and Social Care titled, ‘Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2018.’
According to the report a total of 2,879 women from the Republic of Ireland had an abortion in England or Wales last year. In 2017, that figure was 3,019, a 5% drop year on year.
However in the case of Kilkenny, the figure increased year-on-year from 43 to 52.
Responding to the findings, Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion said she expects the numbers travelling to the UK for abortions will decrease this year, the first full year after the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
She said some women are likely to continue to travel abroad for terminations because it gives them a greater cloak of anonymity.
There has been several protests by anti-abortion activists outside the Health Centre in Graiguenamanagh, which is the only facility in county Kilkenny to provide termination services.
Deputy Funchion (pictured) said there needs to be greater protection for young women who need to access abortion services.
She told KilkennyNow.ie: “A lot of young women may be afraid to access [termination] services in their area. More must be done to provide exclusion zones outside clinics to make it a safer environment for patients and also for the GPs who have signed up to provide the services.”