More than 100 women gave Galway addresses when accessing an abortion in the UK in 2016. At least 9 women travelled each month from Galway to the United Kingdom in order to access abortion services.
This is according to statistics published by the UK Department of Health in June 2017. The figures also reveal that women from across Ireland (North and Republic ) accounted for 83 per cent of legal abortions provided to non-residents in England and Wales during 2016.
In light of the figures, and in response to the upcoming ‘Rally for Life’ in Dublin, Galway Pro-Choice will be staging a creative action followed by a rally through the city, on Saturday July 1, starting at the fountain in Eyre Square from 2pm.
“We are undertaking these actions in Galway to let these people, and all the others who are unaccounted for in these statistics, know that they are not alone," said Suzi Coombs of Galway Pro-Choice. "This is a matter of urgency and we need the Government to act as soon as possible to legislate for abortion in Ireland and stop exporting our healthcare.”
Jamie Canavan, also of Galway Pro-Choice, said the event will "symbolically represent the extremities involved" for women and trans men in regard to reproductive rights in Ireland — those forced to travel, those forced to stay and break the law, those without access to safe alternatives, and those who wish to continue their pregnancies but whose rights are still diminished by the Eighth Amendment.