More than 6,600 abortions were carried out in the Republic of Ireland last year, following the vote to repeal its strong pro-life laws in 2018.
Abortion is now available on demand up to twelve weeks, once a three-day reflection period has passed.
Prior to the law change, abortion was only permissible if it would “avert a real and substantial risk to the life of the pregnant woman”. Of the 6,666 abortions that took place last year, 24 fell into this category.
Rt Revd Dr David Bruce, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, said “all human life remains sacred and special” and “the lives of women and unborn children matter profoundly, and are deeply precious to God”.
He refuted prior claims by the Irish Government that liberalising the law would make abortions “rare”, and he called on both society and the authorities “to place a greater focus on the provision of world-leading, compassionate care for women, children and families”.
It is expected that the Republic will review the current legislation, with pro-abortion activists seeking to remove the three-day reflection period.
Last month, Westminster voted to force the most liberal abortion law in the UK on Northern Ireland, described as “one of the darkest days” in the Province’s history.
Despite the Stormont Assembly previously rejecting the regulations, the House of Commons gave its final backing for the laws to be imposed on Northern Ireland with a vote of 253 to 136.
The changes go far beyond the law in the rest of the UK, with abortions allowed for any reason up to 12 weeks. The law effectively allows abortions to take place on any grounds up to 24 weeks and up to birth on the grounds of disability. This could include Down’s syndrome, and even cleft palate.