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 so it doesn’t result in the birth of a baby. The pregnancy is ended either by taking medications 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.