The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI) has reported that 17 women raped in Ireland traveled to the UK in 2011 to terminate their pregnancies.

According to their calculations 2,541 people attended their 17 centers around the country. Ninety of these women had become pregnant as a result of rape. Seventeen of these women decided to terminate their pregnancies.

Spokeswoman for the RCNI told the Irish Sun: “These numbers represent one part of the picture as not all rape survivors seek or can access RCC support.

“It is also important to bear in mind that these numbers cannot tell us how, why and under what circumstances those outcomes came about.

“They do not tell us about a survivor’s circumstances, age, resources, access to information and support or their relationship to the rapist.

“When drawing on the example of rape survivors, an assumption can sometimes be made that the decisions are somehow simplified, feelings are straightforward and that moral and ethical complexities are largely nullified by the fact of conception through rape. This is not the rape crisis experience.

“For many women and teenagers, pregnancy resulting from rape can cause additional trauma and certainly complexities — these demand our greatest compassion.

“RCNI would urge commentators to remember this when they reach for the example of rape victims in the abortion debate.”

The week a government group, the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, held three days of hearings on the issue of abortion. The committee chairman Jerry Buttimer admitted that it was one of the most divisive issues for Ireland.

Read more: Irish Bishops accused of hating women by top female politician during abortion hearings

Health Minister James Reilly said the results of these hearings will help the Irish government develop legislation that will stand up to challenges.

A recent opinion poll, by Red C and Paddy Powers, showed that 64 percent of the Irish people are in favor of legislating for abortion.

Ireland’s Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said abortion was one of most difficult and sensitive issues in Ireland over the past 30 years. She added that the debate which took place in government this week had helped to clarify the issue.


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