A leading Irish family planning clinic has reported a substantial increase in the amount of women seeking post-abortion care.

Last year the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) saw an 85 percent increase in abortion related cases, according to their annual report, released on Monday.

Over 1,400 women, girls and couples received one-to-one crisis pregnancy counseling across their 11 centers in 2011.

The group said an improved awareness of counseling services has resulted in an increase in the numbers attending the clinics and calling their helpline.

Chief executive Niall Behan said, “The improved awareness of the availability of the IFPA’s post-abortion counselling services, the breakdown of stigma associated with the procedure and women’s increasing willingness to discuss abortion are all factors that have led to more demand for our crisis pregnancy facilities.”

He added: “On the whole, women seem to be more willing to speak about such situations, and more inclined to avail of the support services available to them.”

In its two Dublin Clinics alone, the IFPA provided family planning advice to around 19,000 clients.

They reported a drop in the number of clients attending for the emergency contraceptive pill, since it was made available over the counter at pharmacies last year.

Ireland’s first family planning clinic, the IFPA was established by seven volunteers in 1969 in response to the State’s blanket ban on contraception.

Almost 2,000 women sought post-abortion care in Ireland last yearGetty