Thursday 21 May 2009

Fewer Northern Ireland women seek abortions in Britain

The number of Northern Ireland women having abortions in England fell last year but pro-life campaigners are warning that it is likely to increase if abortion providers are allowed to advertise on television and radio.

Betty Gibson, chairwoman for SPUC in Northern Ireland, commented as new figures from the Department of Health in England and Wales showed that 1,173 abortions were performed on women from the province. While Mrs Gibson welcomed the fact that the number was down by 170 on the previous year, she said that a great deal more needed to be done to help women facing crisis pregnancies.
"Abortion kills children but also hurts women. Many women are never told about the physical and emotional damage which abortion can cause. It is important that women get all the help they need to care for their children. If the Advertising Standards Authority allow abortion providers to advertise on TV and radio, it will add to the pressure on vulnerable women. They will be sold abortion as a simple, safe and easy answer to their problems when it's not.

"Most people believe it is wrong that vulnerable women should be given abortion counselling by people who have a financial interest in the abortion industry. Allowing TV and radio ads will be good for the abortion business and bad for women and their unborn children. People should write to Gregory Campbell, minister for culture, arts and leisure, Causeway Exchange, 1-7 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT1 7FB, and ask him to do everything he can to ensure that the restrictions on abortion adverts are not lifted."

There were 195,296 abortions in England and Wales in 2008 compared with 198,499 in 2007, a fall of 1.6%. The total number of abortions under the Abortion Act 1967 has now exceeded seven million.

SPUC has produced a briefing on the public consultation on abortion advertising which ends 19 June. Copies are available free by emailing me at