How do pregnancies end?

There are approximately 85,000 pregnancies in Ireland each year.

  • approximately three-quarters or 65,500 result in live births
  • 260 die just before or during birth
  • 13,270 end in miscarriage
  • approximately 980 are diagnosed as ectopic and ended in Irish hospitals
  • 25 are considered a direct threat to the pregnant woman’s life and are ended in Irish hospitals
  • approximately 5,000 are estimated to end in abortion abroad or by way of imported pills

How does abortion happen?

An abortion is the medical process of ending a pregnancy that does not result in the birth of a baby. The pregnancy is ended either by taking medication or having a minor surgical procedure.

  • Medical abortion (the ‘abortion pill’) – the pregnant woman takes two medications, usually 24 to 48 hours apart, to induce a miscarriage.
  • Surgical abortion – the pregnant woman has a minor procedure to remove the pregnancy in a hospital and normally goes home soon afterwards.

What is ‘late term’ abortion?

Where a wanted pregnancy turns into a crisis pregnancy at a later stage in pregnancy, access to abortion would be restricted to circumstances where it is considered medically necessary to protect the mental and physical health of the woman.

Further reading on this topic