Pádraig McCarthy writes:
Today by the Department of Health published the reported terminations of pregnancy in 2020. A review of the legislation is due this year.
Termination of Pregnancy Report 2020 and Review of Legislation
The Department of Health has just published its annual report on notifications of Termination of Pregnancy in 2020. It is available from the Department of Health website.
|Number of terminations carried out
under each relevant section
of the legislation in 2020:
Section of the Act
|Number of terminations notified|
|9 – Risk to life or health||20|
|10 – Risk to life or health in an emergency||5|
|11 – Condition likely to lead to death of foetus||97|
|12 – Early pregnancy||6455|
The five page Report also gives breakdown by month, and by county.
The total in 2019 was 6,666.
Under the Termination of Pregnancy Act the Minister must carry out a review of the service no later than three years after its commencement. The Department of Health has said the review of the Termination of Pregnancy Act will be “progressed” this year. Public consultation will form part of the review.
A spokesperson for the Minister for Health has said the Minister and officials in the Department intended to initiate a Review of the Termination of Pregnancy Act in May. However, the Department says the cyber attack on the Department of Health has created significant difficulties in this regard “which we are working to address at this time”. The Department confirmed that the review is scheduled to be progressed in 2021 and will be overseen by Department of Health.
It says research to inform the service user and service provider strands will be commissioned and carried out independently.
“The Department of Health will manage the public consultation, which will extend a public invitation to all interested groups, organisations and members of the public to provide their views to inform the review of the operation of the legislation.
“To ensure transparency, a report on each of the three strands of the review will be published.”
It says once data has been gathered on all three strands, a full report with any necessary recommendations will be submitted by the Department to the Minister for Health for consideration.
For the public consultation on the review, a way in which people might make a difference would be to urge members of the Oireachtas to have some basic research carried out which, amazingly, does not yet seem to have been done in Ireland.
This would be to look into the reasons why women seek abortions.
The only indication I have found so far is a brief statement in the 2018 Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment (2:38) which says: “the majority of terminations are for socio-economic reasons that are unrelated to foetal abnormality or to rape.” The Oireachtas Report does not say where it got this information. However, the statement indicates that there is a serious lack of societal and government support, and that the question of termination of pregnancy can be addressed by dealing with those socio-economic reasons. If these were effectively dealt with, it would save many women from the anguish of feeling that the only remedy is abortion, and it could save the lives of many unborn children. Even with the current legislation in place, there is much we as a society could to save those in crisis pregnancy from feeling they have no realistic options except abortion.
A US survey of such reasons for abortion, published by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute in 2005 is available at
The survey results are on page 113. Most women give more than one reason. The results concur with what the Oireachtas Committee said. Health reasons are at the bottom of the list.
We have seen in the Covid-19 pandemic what we can do by way of social and economic measures to address a health situation when there is the will to do so. Addressing the social and economic needs of those in crisis pregnancy would be just a tiny portion of what we have done in the pandemic.
See https://rallyforlife.net/ – details of Vigils (Fri), Local Rally Locations (Sat) and Online Rally (Sun)
Fri 2 July 7.30pm: Local Vigils for Life – see
and Vigil Live streamed from St Mary’s, Dominicans, Cork City.
Sat 3rd July: there are Rallies for Life around the country: see details below
LOCAL RALLY LOCATIONS
- Carlow: Carlow Town Fountain @ 2pm
- Clare; Ennistymon 8- 8:30, Lisdoonvarna 9-9:30, Ballyvaghna 10-10:30, Crusheen 11-11:30 Tulla 12-12:30, Killalloo 1-1:30, Newmarket on Fergus 2-2:30 Kilrush 3-3:30 Milton Malbay 4-4:30 Inagh 5-5:30 Ennis 6-7pm
- Cork; Cork City @ 12 noon, Midleton Court house @ 12 noon, Macroom @ 12 noon
- Donegal; Letterkenny @ 12 noon
- Dublin; Castleknock, Phoenix Park @ 12 noon
- Dublin; GPO Island at 2pm City Centre
- Kerry; Tralee @ 2pm
- Kildare; Outside Naas at the N7 Ball
- Laois; Portlaoise @ 2pm
- Leitrim: Carrick On Shannon @ 3pm
- Limerick; Limerick City @ 12 noon
- Offaly: Shannon Bridge @ 4pm, Clonmacnoise @ 6pm
- Mayo; Castlebar @ 1pm
- Meath; Trim @ 11am – Drum Castle to the Courthouse, Navan
- Roscommon; Roscommon Town @ 11 am at Casey’s roundabout
- Waterford; Waterford City, Dungarvan @ 11am
- Westmeath; Mullingar @ 11am, Athlone @ 3pm
- Wexford; Wexford Town @ 12 noon, Enniscorthy @ 12 noon, New Ross @ 12 noon, Bunclody @ 12 noon
NORTH OF IRELAND
- ANTRIM; meeting at the roundabout beside St. Comgalls Church @ 2pm
- ARMAGH; Junction at the bottom of Scotch Street @ 2pm
- BELFAST; City Hall @ 2pm
- BALLYMEMA; The Bandstand Broadway @ 2pm
- BANGOR; Main Street @ 2pm
- COLERAINE; Coleraine Marina @ 2pm
- DERRY; The Quays opposite Mama Masala @ 2pm
- DOWNPATRICK; Market Street, beside Danske Bank @ 2pm
- DUNGANNON; The Square Dungannon @ 2pm
- DUNGIVEN; meeting on Main Street in Chapel carpark @ 2pm
- ENNISKILLEN; meeting in front of Enniskillen Technical College, opposite Dunnes @ 2pm
- KEADY; The Monument @ 2pm
- LURGAN; The Plaza beside War Memorial @ 2pm
- NEWRY; Fiveways roundabout @ 2pm
- OMAGH; meeting at Danske Bank on Market Street @ 2pm
- MAGHERA; meeting at the leisure centre, Coleraine Road @ 2pm
- CARNLOUGH; meeting at the Harbour @ 2pm
Sun 4th July: online rally – details https://rallyforlife.net/