Cross-Border Demand Could Make Donegal Abortion Capital
Donegal could end up with one of the highest abortion rates in the country despite voting against the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
There is growing expectation that the hundreds of women from Northern Ireland who travel to England every year for abortions will travel to the Republic instead. The draft abortion legislation published by the government before the referendum provides for the possibility that women resident outside the state will have abortions here.
Official figures from the UK Department of Health show that 724 women from Northern Ireland had an abortion in 2016. Of those, 635 travelled within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, meaning they would be eligible for abortion here once the planned abortion legislation is introduced.
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone, who campaigned for abortion during the referendum, said women from across the border should now be facilitated in the Republic.
"I hope that by the time that happens that the Executive will have formed, that it is able to move forward in relation to making decisions itself in terms of this issue. If that is not the case, then we're their nearest neighbour," she told the Irish Independent.
Government sources in Dublin admitted that women from Northern Ireland who up to now have travelled overseas for abortions are likely to seek them in Ireland. Many of them, especially from Derry and Tyrone, are likely to travel to nearby Donegal, which was the only constituency to oppose abortion.
Irish Independent. May 29.