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394 abortions in NI since 2006, but reasons not recorded. WHY?

10 June 2011

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister MLA:

“In a Written Question to the Health Minister I requested the number of abortions performed in Northern Ireland in each of the last 5 years broken down by Health and Social Care Trust and the reasons for the abortions. I was surprised to learn that while the Department holds statistics on the number of abortions – there have been 394 performed in Northern Ireland’s hospitals – “information on the reason for abortion is not collected centrally”.

“I have written to all of Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Trusts asking if they hold the information on the reasons for the abortions but my strong suspicion is that they will not be able to furnish me with this information either.

“Accordingly, I will be asking Minister Poots if he will review the current practice of not recording and collating the reason for each abortion and issue guidance that such should be done. Now is an ideal time to address the issue as the DHSSPS’s Guidance on the Termination of Pregnancy is currently at consultation stage.

“Given that abortion in Northern Ireland is only permissible in cases where the life of the mother is in danger I am surprised that this data is not already recorded. Given the sensitivity of the matter and the undeniable public interest in abortion in Northern Ireland I believe that the reason for each abortion should be recorded in order for there to be maximum public confidence that the law is being complied with.”

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