More than 6,500 terminations were carried out in Ireland last year, new figures reveal.
According to the first Annual Report on the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, a total of 6,666 terminations were carried out in 2019.
The study covers the period from 1 January 2019 until 31 December 2019 and has now been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.
It is the first annual report to be published since the grounds on which termination of pregnancy is lawfully permitted were expanded in Ireland, following the result of the May 2018 referendum on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.
Of those, 6,542 terminations took place in early pregnancy while 100 terminations were due to a condition likely to lead to the death of a foetus.
Twenty-one terminations were carried out under section 9 of the Act - where there is a serious risk to the life or of serious harm to the health of a pregnant woman.
The remaining three were carried out under section 10, where there is risk to life or health of the pregnant woman in an emergency.
The highest number of terminations - 625 - took place in January 2019.
The next highest was 602 in July, followed by 592 in December last year and 580 in May.
We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
The Pro Life Campaign said that when today's figure of 6,666 abortions is added to the 375 abortions carried out on women from Ireland who travelled to England during the same period, the figure amounts to 7,041 in total.
In a statement, spokesperson Maeve O'Hanlon said the figures show that for the first time in 18 years there has been an increase in the number of abortions.
"The State sponsored choreography of abortion needs to end immediately and give way to an open and honest debate, where the voices of those who regret their abortions and others are afforded the opportunity and space to be heard", she said.
Amnesty Ireland has welcomed that women and girls were able to receive abortion care within Ireland's health system.
In a statement, it said that to go from a country that exiled women seeking abortions two years ago, to one that is now caring for them at home, is an important step forward.
However, it noted there were some wide variations in the numbers across counties, and it called on the Government to ensure abortion services were available and accessible to all pregnant people in the State.
2,493 terminations were carried out on women who listed Dublin as their county of residence.
Amnesty International Ireland Executive Director Colm O'Gorman said some serious gaps remain in the legislation that are likely still forcing pregnant people to travel.
Amnesty noted that statistics published by the UK's Department of Health and Social Care in early June revealed that 375 women and girls travelled from Ireland to access abortion services in England and Wales in 2019.
"We know that women's health and well-being are harmed when they have to travel for abortion, and people voted to end that very harm. With the three year review of our abortion law coming soon, we call on the new Government to identify and close all gaps to make sure we don't have hundreds of people still being forced to travel", Mr O'Gorman said.
The Irish Family Planning Association welcomed the "robust domestic data".
It said the figures showed that the vast majority of terminations (98%) took place in early pregnancy, in line with international trends.
However, it said "there is more to do".
The IFPA has called for urgent reforms to sexuality education and contraception access were needed.
Chief Executive Officer Niall Behan said "the new Government must prioritise reforms to contraception access and sexuality education and ensure that the 2021 review of the abortion law focuses on enhancing access to abortion care so that no one is left behind."