When the 1967 Abortion Act was passed in Britain, most people believed it would allow a relatively small number of abortions and end illegal “back street” abortions. Instead the numbers quickly soared.
The number of abortions more than doubled between 1968 and 1969 (+132%), and increased by 57% in 1970, 45% in 1971, and 26% in 1972, finally peaking in 2007 at 219,454. Today there are around 200,000 abortions every year in Britain. In 2012, the Abortion Act’s sponsor Lord David Steel said, “I never envisaged there would so many abortions.”
Other countries across Europe that have legalised abortion have also seen enormous numbers of babies killed as a result. Many of these are countries that are struggling with the demographic consequences of below-replacement birthrates.
In Britain there is one abortion for every 3.9 live births. Spain has one abortion for every 4.2 live births, France one for 3.7, and Sweden, often held up in Ireland as an exemplary society has one abortion for every three live births.
Ireland has a far lower abortion rate than any of our EU neighbours. This is a result of the 8th Amendment and the culture that it underpins, a culture which cherishes unborn babies while supporting and protecting their mothers. It would be naïve to think that this culture will survive if the 8th Amendment is removed.