During the COVID-19 pandemic, around 200 pregnant people from the Republic of Ireland travelled to Britain for abortions in 2020, in the face of significant restrictions on travel, to access the abortion care they needed.
Mara Clarke, director of the Abortion Support Network, which assists women accessing abortion services in Britain, said the organisation had “helped people in all kinds of circumstances to travel to England for abortions. Some had abortions in Ireland which failed, pushing them past the 12-week limit. Others received a catastrophic foetal anomaly diagnosis, but two clinicians didn’t agree the issue was bad enough to have an abortion in Ireland.
“Travelling for abortion during a pandemic meant dealing with limited flights, closed hotels, mandatory and expensive PCR tests and huge uncertainty.”
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