One in five have had a crisis pregnancy
Irish Independent 09/11/2007
by Anne-Marie Walsh
ONE in five Irish women has experienced a crisis pregnancy, new figures have revealed.
The Crisis Pregnancy Agency yesterday said the fear that their career may be over is one of the main reasons women travel abroad for a termination.
A total of 5,042 women travelled to the UK for an abortion last year.
The perception that teenagers are most likely to have an unplanned pregnancy was also dispelled at a seminar on parenting and employment in Dublin yesterday.
The average age for the occurence of a crisis pregnancy is 23 for women, and 81pc of them are likely to be working at the time.
The average age of their partner is likely to be 25 at the time of the unexpected pregnancy.
But men's careers do not go through the same upheaval when the unexpected occurs.
Sixty-two percent of women adjusted their working patterns on becoming a parent compared with just 27pc of men, according to a new report launched by the Crisis Pregnancy Agency yesterday.
Women in temporary or part-time jobs are most vulnerable to the experience of a crisis pregnancy as they get no maternity or sick leave.
And there are lower rates of lone parents in the workplace in Ireland than in many other countries.
"Employers often don't see the link between their workplace policy on parenting and abortion," said the Director of the Crisis Pregnancy Agency Caroline Spillane. She said the issue of unplanned pregnancy is a burning one in the workplace as one of the greatest changes in Ireland in recent years is the increased number of women in employment.
In 1982, female workers made up just under 30pc of the labour force but that figure had risen to 53pc last year. Most of these were women in their childbearing years. A total of 78.5pc of the women in the workforce were aged between 25 and 34. Of these, 15pc of women who experienced a crisis pregnancy chose abortion.