The number of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics has decreased for an eighth successive year, according to figures from the UK Department of Health.

Since 2001, the number of women giving Irish addresses at UK abortion clinics has decreased from 6,673, to 4,422 in 2009.

According to the Health Service Executive Crisis Pregnancy Programme, there has also been a decline in the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in the Netherlands, which fell from 351 in 2008 to 134 in 2009.

The Crisis Pregnancy Programme gathers statistics to examine the patterns of women travelling from Ireland to countries other than the UK for abortion procedures.

The Netherlands has emerged as the only other jurisdiction where women from Ireland travel for abortion procedures in significant numbers.

HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme Director Caroline Spillane said: ‘Over the past eight years we have seen a sustained decline in the number of women giving Irish addresses at abortion clinics in the UK.

‘The Crisis Pregnancy Programme along with many other organisations working in the area of sexual health have given strategic focus to initiatives aimed at preventing crisis pregnancy and also to improving the supports which are in place for those who do experience a crisis pregnancy.

‘We hope that these statistics are an indication that this work is having a real impact in reducing the instance of crisis pregnancy in Ireland.’