‘Boats and planes have been replaced by buses and trains as barriers’

Paula Dennan: “We have come a long way since the dark days but we still have work to do”

A TOTAL of 52 women from Kerry travelled to have an abortion in England or Wales in 2018, statistics published today by the UK Department of Health have revealed.

Kerry for Choice spokesperson Paula Dennan said the figures, which are broadly in line with previous years, show that, on average, one woman every week was forced to leave Kerry to access abortion care abroad.

The statistics released by the UK Department of Health

“We also know these figures are the tip of the iceberg because they only include people who provided their Irish address. Many pregnant people use the UK address of family or friends,” she said.

“Some pregnant people access abortion services in countries other than England or Wales and others resort to ordering abortion pills online”.

Ms Dennan said repealing the Eighth Amendment and the introduction of abortion services in Ireland earlier this year means the situation has changed for many pregnant people who are now able to receive the abortion care they need here at home but there are still issues with the legislation.

“We are conscious that boats and planes have been replaced by buses and trains as barriers to access still remain for people in rural Ireland,” the Kerry for Choice official added.

She said provision of services around the country is inconsistent, with some counties having no GPs signed up to the HSE’s MyOptions helpline.

“Women in Kerry who need an abortion between nine and 12 weeks must travel to hospital in Cork or Waterford. We have come a long way since the dark days but we still have work to do in achieving abortion services that are truly free, safe, legal and local,” Ms Dennan remarked.

Kerry for Choice is a volunteer pro-choice group advocating for free, safe, legal and accessible abortion in Ireland.

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