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HSE to spend up to €60k on abortion in Ireland research study

Abortion services were introduced in Ireland earlier this year.

Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

THE HSE IS set to spend up to €60,000 on a research study on the experiences of women who have accessed abortion services and unplanned pregnancy support services since abortion services were introduced here.

Abortion services were introduced here earlier this year and termination of pregnancy is permitted without restriction up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and in other limited circumstances. 

Now, almost five months after the commencement of the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018 on 1 January, the HSE is commissioning research in order “to develop an in-depth understanding of the experiences of women who have accessed unplanned pregnancy support services and abortion services”.

According to tender documentation, the purpose of the study is to also gather in-depth information from medical professionals in relation to women accessing these services.

The study will also provide a comprehensive description of the experiences of women who have availed of these services in Ireland, taking account of differing backgrounds, ages and locations.

The study will also “provide a comprehensive description of the trajectories of women who have accessed abortion care in Ireland, including linking with unplanned pregnancy support services and healthcare services”.

The HSE’s Sexual Health & Crisis Pregnancy Programme (SHCPP) is commissioning the survey and the tender states that interviews might also be conducted by the researcher(s) with women who sought access to abortion services but were unable to proceed with an abortion because their pregnancy had progressed beyond the legal threshold of 12 weeks.

The tender also states that data be collected with medical professionals who have cared for and facilitated access to the services on behalf of women in the sample. 

The tender documentation states that it is anticipated that a contract will be awarded by the end of July next with the contract to commence at the earliest opportunity following award. 

It states: “All work and the final report are to be completed within an anticipated 9 month timeframe and is envisaged to commence in August 2019.”

The HSE state that the maximum budget available for the project is €60,000 exclusive of VAT. 

The tender states that as the HSE has a very limited budget available for this study, it seeks to achieve value for money and tenderers must be cognisant of this budget when preparing their tender submission. 

The closing date for the receipt of tenders is 21 June.

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Gordon Deegan

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