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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019
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Abortion services will be available in Ireland from today

Women who have been given a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormalities will be able to legally avail of early termination of pregnancy.

Image: Shutterstock/Idutko

ABORTION SERVICES WILL be available across the country from today. 

Following last year’s referendum to repeal the eighth amendment from Ireland’s constitution and subsequent legislative changes, services will be provided by the HSE, through GPs or family planning services and in maternity units and hospitals throughout Ireland. 

The recent enactment of the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act means that abortion services can now be accessed in specific circumstances.

The Act allows for terminations of pregnancy up to 12 weeks. It also provides for terminations where there is a risk to the life or a serious risk to the health of the pregnant woman. 

Women who have been given a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormalities will be able to legally avail of early termination of pregnancy in the hospital they are being treated in.

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Peter Boylan has said that clinical guidance and training has been provided to assist practitioners in the clinical decision making of providing abortion services. 

“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.

While abortion services are available from today, some doctors and hospitals have said that they are unlikely to be ready to provide terminations in January. 

The HSE has said that abortion care will be provided free-of-charge to people who need it. 

In December, it launched a new website to provide information to women who are considering terminating their pregnancies.
MyOptions.ie provides people with details on information and counselling for abortions.

Those who experience an unplanned pregnancy are being encouraged to contact the My Options counselling service, where counsellors will provide information on where women can access termination of pregnancy services should they want to avail of them.

Helen Deely, Programme Lead of the HSE’s Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme, has said “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.”

Contains reporting by Sinéad O’Carroll and Stephen McDermott. 

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