According to recent figures released by the British Department of Health a total of over 3,500 women from the Republic of Ireland travelled to Britain for  abortions last year.

The latest figures show that a total of 87 (3%) of these women held an address in Co. Donegal. This is an increase of 4 for the number of women in Donegal who are seeking abortion.

The facts and figures reported from the Republic however are an under-estimation of the real figures, as many Irish women are unwilling to provide their home addresses to clinics.

The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has described the numbers as “a modern indictment of the State’s treatment of women with unplanned pregnancies”.

CEO of the IFPA Niall Behan said that the women who are ‘forced to travel to the UK’ often describe their experiences as “being abandoned by the Irish health care system and forced to rely on the services of another country.”

“These women are not criminals but the law treats them as such because they are seeking a service that is illegal in almost every circumstance in Ireland,” he continued, “the criminalisation of abortion does not deter women from seeking an abortion but it does act as a barrier to receiving care.

“Abortion is the only other area of health where the Government can ignore its duty of care and shift the onus of seeking services onto women.”

Earlier today the Abortion Rights Campaign announced that they had made a submission to the United Nations on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and that Ireland would be examined by the UN Human Rights Committee in July.

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