Fewer women gave Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics in 2017, new figures reveal
The drop comes as the demand for abortion pills bought online increases.
Fewer women are giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in England and Wales, the UK Department of Health has revealed.
The latest figures have found that Irish addresses had fallen from 3,265 in 2016 to 3,091 in 2017, which the HSE's Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme has attributed to the increase in demand for abortion pills purchased online.
According to the SHCPP, one online provider reported that 1,217 women from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland "received the medical abortion pill" from their service in 2017, while a second provided reported that 878 women from the Republic used their service in the same period.
Commenting on these figures, Helen Deely, Programme Lead for the HSE SHCPP said: "If a woman takes an abortion pill and has prolonged heavy bleeding, bad pain, faints, or experiences other complications, we strongly encourage her to attend an emergency department or GP straight away.
"If a woman is in any way concerned about her health following taking an abortion pill or travelling abroad for an abortion, we encourage her to attend a free post-abortion medical check-up funded by the HSE.
Ms. Deely went on to encourage people to seek assistance from the HSE funded crisis pregnancy and post abortion counselling services, saying:
"Anyone experiencing a crisis pregnancy should be aware of the support available to them free of charge. There are HSE funded crisis pregnancy and post abortion counselling services in over 30 locations nationwide. Crisis pregnancy counsellors provide on-going support and information to women and their partners. A list of crisis pregnancy services is available on positiveoptions.ie and abortionaftercare.ie."