Developments

Introduction of abortion services in Ireland

Abortion services will be provided by the HSE, through GPs or family planning services, and in maternity units and hospitals across the country, from today, January 1st, 2019.

Following last year’s referendum and subsequent legislative change, people can now access an abortion in Ireland under specific circumstances. Abortion care will be free of charge to people who need it.

Dr Peter Boylan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist working with HSE to support the introduction of abortion services in Ireland, said: ‘From today, our health service is ready to provide abortion services to people who need it. Clinical guidance and training has been provided and circulated to healthcare teams nationwide to assist practitioners in the clinical decision making involved in providing abortion care.’

‘A lot of work has been done by people across our health service to prepare for this new service, with a sufficient number of GPs signed up and others continuing to do so. Services will be provided in GP practices and family planning services, and maternity units and hospitals across the country.’

The HSE is also introducing My Options, a new free unplanned pregnancy support service which will be the first point of contact for support and information about an unplanned pregnancy.

My Options offers non-directive, free counselling and information for people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Information is available about all options, including continued pregnancy supports and abortion services.

Helen Deely from the HSE’s Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme outlined the supports offered by My Options, saying: ‘We’re here to help you, with professional counsellors, if you want to talk to someone, have a question about continued pregnancy supports, or want information about abortion services. The HSE’s My Options service is free of charge and you can contact us at Freephone 1800 828 010.’

‘Our myoptions.ie website provides very clear, accessible information for people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Myoptions.ie also gives detailed information on abortion services and how they work, helping to answer the questions and concerns of people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.’

The My Options counselling service is being provided on behalf of the HSE by experienced pregnancy counsellors from One Family, a national organisation for one-parent families. Karen Kiernan, CEO of One Family, said today: ‘One Family is delighted to provide the My Options counselling service on behalf of the HSE, building on our decades of work in the areas of unplanned pregnancy support and helpline services. We look forward to ensuring that people who need information, support and counselling on any aspect of an unplanned pregnancy can have their needs met.’

If anyone is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and needs information about continued pregnancy supports or how to access abortion services, there is a Freephone 1800 828 010 or visit myoptions.ie

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