Nearly 4,000 Irish women sought abortions in England and Wales in 2012
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Nearly 4,000 Irish women sought abortions in England and Wales in 2012

ALMOST 4,000 women travelled from Ireland to England or Wales last year for an abortion, according to statistics released by the Department of Health.

Of that figure 347 teenagers sought an abortion.

32 of those women were under the age of 16.

The total of 3,982 Irish women accounted for 68.1 per cent of all women who were non-residents of England and Wales.

However, a further 889 women did not indicate their county of residence for confidentiality reasons.

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From those that provided an address 1,275 travelled from Dublin and 320 from Cork.

The majority of Irish women were between the ages of 20-34 with 2,823 of the 3,982 in that age group, accounting for 71 per cent .

1,082 were specifically between the ages 20-24, and Irish women over the age of 35 amounted to 812.

Women in their first trimester equalled 3,390,  and 2,700 of those were between three and nine weeks pregnant.  Only 101 were over 20 weeks into their pregnancy.

The figures show that 755 women had admitted to having had one or more abortions in the past.

Aside from the Irish Republic, 905 women travelled from Northern Ireland amounting to 15.5 per cent of those whose country of residence is neither England nor Wales.

Most of these were between the ages of 20-24 (247) and 77 per cent of women from Northern Ireland were between three and nine weeks pregnant.

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12 women were over 20 weeks pregnant, and 131 indicated that they had previously had an abortion.

In comparison to last year’s statistics, 2012 saw a reduction overall.

In 2011, 4,149 women travelled from the Irish Republic and 1,007 from Northern Ireland.

An exception for the Republic is the number of women between the ages of 20-34 who travelled to England and Wales for an abortion; this figure rose by 92.