HSE spends €8.5m on abortion-inducing drugs

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has spent more than €8.5 million on abortion pills in the first four years since abortion was legalised in 2019, according to a report in the Irish Mirror.

Nearly 27,700 women accessed drug-induced abortions through the HSE between the beginning of 2019 and the end of 2022. The figures do not include surgical abortions conducted in hospitals which number in the hundreds each year. They generally take place after the 12th week of pregnancy.

A total of 12,420 abortion pills in the four year period were accessed by women in Dublin city and county, representing 45% of the overall number, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The number of drug-induced abortions accessed through the HSE increased during the first four years since the procedure was legalised from 6,017 in 2019 to 8,595 in 2022. Data for last year is not yet available.

The annual cost of providing abortion pills for the procedures – mifepristone and misoprostol – also increased during that period from just under €1.85 million to nearly €2.7 million.