CLARE women are more likely to travel abroad for an abortion than women in any other county in Munster. Over 200 women from the county are now estimated to seek terminations abroad annually. According to records obtained from the UK Department of Health, 83 of all the Irish women who received abortions in England and Wales in 2011 gave home addresses in Clare.

The real number of Clare women who travelled to the UK for an abortion is likely to be much higher, however, with a large number of Irish women giving no home address or the address of a UK-based relative or friend. Informed sources suggest the number could be over 200 women from Clare availing of abortion facilites in the UK, when cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, easily accessible from Irish airports, are also factored into the estimate.

The figures also reveal a 38 per cent increase in the number of Clare women travelling to the UK for an abortion between 2008 and 2011.

According to the most recent census, there were 58,751 females of any age in Clare in 2011. This means that one in every 707 Clare women travelled to the UK for an abortion in that year – the highest rate of abortion in Munster and a figure suspected of actually being much higher.

Cura in Ennis supplies counselling for women involved in crisis pregnancies. Despite the organisation’s links with the Catholic Church, spokesperson Charlotte Keery says that Cura has seen a marked increase in the number of women seeking post-abortion counselling services in recent years.

“Abortion is a very silent secret for a lot of people.

For more see The Clare People or visit our Digital Edition.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of new short stories can be viewed on Fighting Talk - Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on [email protected]

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