Over 1,900 women did not choose abortion after three day wait in 2022

The effectiveness of the three day waiting period has again been underlined as over 1,900 women did not go through with an abortion last year, after a consultation with a doctor, according to the Pro-Life Campaign (PLC).

The HSE revealed there were 10,779 women who received a first consultation for an abortion in 2022, based on the number of claims for reimbursements by GPs. At the same time, claims for abortions performed totalled 8,876. This shows that 1,903 first consultations didn’t result in the final abortion appointment.

PLC spokesperson Eilís Mulroy said, “It’s reasonable to infer that the vast majority of these 1,903 cases were of women who changed their minds during the three day wait period. Most presumably decided to keep their baby. The 2022 figure complements similar figures from previous years, and offers a strong endorsement to the effectiveness of the three-day waiting period. This provision in the law gives women in the stressful situation of an unplanned pregnancy a vital window of time to reflect”.

She added: “It would be highly irresponsible to scrap the life-saving three-day reflection period considering the mounting evidence of its effectiveness as a small but significant safeguard which mitigates against the life-ending decision which many women come to deeply regret. Medical Council guidelines clearly state that a patient’s consent is not a once-off and shouldn’t be acquired in a stressful situation”.