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6,577 procedures took place under termination of pregnancy Act in 2020

By Mindo - 29th Jun 2021

abortion review
The Dail Government Building in Dublin Ireland.

The number of procedures carried out under the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act decreased slightly in 2020 compared with 2019, according to the second annual report on the Act.

The annual report shows that in total 6,577 medical procedures were carried out under the Act in 2020.  This figure represents a slight decrease on the figure for the first year of the service in 2019, when a total of 6,666 notifications were received.

In 2020, 20 procedures were carried out due to a risk to life or health under the grounds set out in section 9 of the Act; five due to a risk to life or health in an emergency situation under section 10; 97 due to a fatal fetal anomaly; and 6,455 in early pregnancy under the grounds set out in section 12 of the Act.  

Section 20 of the 2018 Act requires the date on which the termination of pregnancy was carried out to be notified to the Minister of Health. The data for 2020 indicate that the months with the highest number of terminations carried out were January (707 notifications), March (655) and April (638). The month with fewest notifications was December (319).

Finally, under section 20 of the 2018 Act, notification forms also collect information on the county or place of residence of the pregnant woman.

Dublin was the county of residence in the case of 2,414 notifications received, 645 cited Cork and 278 cited Limerick. The county cited in fewest notifications was Leitrim, with only 28 noting it as the county of residence of the pregnant woman. The data showed that Northern Ireland was the place of residence notified in 36 cases, while eight notifications recorded the place of residence as another location outside of Ireland.

The HSE has also submitted a report, as required under section 18 of the Act, on reviews carried out in 2019. This report has also been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. The HSE report shows that two applications for review were made to the Executive in 2020. One of the applications was found to have met the requirements for a lawful termination of pregnancy.

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