A pro-life campaign is highlighting that an estimated 21,000 babies have been aborted in the Republic of Ireland since the country legalised abortion almost four years ago.
According to official figures from the Department of Health, almost 18,000 babies were aborted between January 2019 and December 2021. More than 3,000 are estimated to have been aborted since then.
“Early pregnancy” was recorded as the basis for 98 per cent of them, with no other reason required up to twelve weeks.
In response, the Life Institute launched a billboard campaign across the country to show the reality that abortion does not remain rare once it has been legalised.
Spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain said: “The appalling abortion rate shocks even many of those who voted Yes because they were told abortion would be ‘rare'”. She also said, “pro-lifers need to be unafraid to state the truth and to state the facts”.
Uí Bhriain said activists are pushing to extend the law further by abolishing the twelve-week limit to allow abortion on demand up to six months, expanding disability abortion and scrapping the three-day waiting period.
One of the billboards urges: “Help women choose life”, by ensuring the existing three-day waiting period before an abortion is not scrapped, despite activists’ demands.
The Irish Government recently proposed legislation to introduce censorship zones within 100 metres of buildings where abortions can be performed.
Actions deemed to influence a person’s decision about abortion would be illegal outside hospitals, community care centres and other premises, including GP practices.
This could criminalise prayer as well as the distribution of pro-life literature, with fines of up to €2,500 and six months in prison.
As in the UK, Irish pro-life campaigners have highlighted that when harassment does occur outside such premises, the police already have sufficient powers to act.