During the COVID-19 crisis, the HSE is allowing telemedicine abortion access.
For the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, abortion care will be accessible via telemedicine. If your pregnancy is less than 9* weeks gestation, the pre-abortion consultation, certification, and aftercare can be performed by phone or video conference. When clinically necessary, you may be required to attend an in-person visit. To retrieve the abortion pills from the doctor’s office or clinic, you can pick them up yourself or send a nominated representative or courier.
If your pregnancy is between 9* and 12 weeks gestation, you will be referred to a hospital after the phone or video consultation.
MyOptions is still able to connect you with providers and information during this time. Call 1 800 828 010 (see full contact details below).
If you live in Northern Ireland, you can now access abortion care at home. There is a new booking system for abortion care in NI. If your gestation is under 10 weeks, call the Central Access Point 028 9031 6100. This helpline is staffed by Informing Choices Northern Ireland from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. If you are beyond 10 weeks, please contact the Central Booking System provided by BPAS 0333 234 2184.
*This means no more than 9 weeks +6 days pregnant at the time of your second consultation.
As of 1st of January 2019, abortion is legal and available in Ireland in certain circumstances. This is what you can do if you are now pregnant and want an abortion in Ireland.
You can request a safe and legal abortion in Ireland if you meet any one of the following criteria:
- On request: Your pregnancy is less than 81 days (11 weeks and 4 days) gestation, measured from your last menstrual period.(1) If you are accessing an abortion on request in early pregnancy it does not matter what your reasons are. You do not need to justify yourself to your healthcare provider.
- Risk to your life: Your pregnancy is causing a risk to your life.(2)
- Risk to your health: Your pregnancy is causing a risk of serious harm to your physical health or mental health.(2)
- A fatal condition affecting the foetus: Your foetus has been diagnosed with a fatal condition and it will not survive more than 28 days after birth.(2)
You can contact the government’s My Options helpline for information on how to find a healthcare provider and access abortion in these circumstances:
- Freephone from Republic of Ireland: 1800 828 010
- Phone from outside Republic of Ireland: +353 1 687 7044
- Book an appointment through Irish Sign Language here: Irish Remote Interpreting Service
- Visit the official website here: www.MyOptions.ie
If you want an abortion but you do not meet the criteria listed above, you may be able to access an abortion outside of Ireland, generally in the UK. We recommend contacting the Abortion Support Network, who provide information, advice and financial and practical assistance to people travelling to the UK for abortion. These are their contact details:
- Phone from Republic of Ireland: 01 5267 370
- Phone from Northern Ireland: 07897 611593
- Email: [email protected]
Where can I get an abortion?
There is no published list of GPs or healthcare providers who are providing abortion services. If you call the My Options helpline listed above, they will direct you to your closest provider.
How much will abortion cost me?
If you live in the Republic of Ireland and you have a PPS Number, abortion is provided free by the HSE. If you do not live in the Republic of Ireland, there is a charge set by the provider.
What should I know about getting an abortion?
(1) On request
While the government and the media often say that you can access abortion up to 12 weeks, this is not completely accurate. In medical terms, a pregnancy is counted from the first day of your menstrual cycle (i.e. the first day of your last period). This is approximately two weeks before the beginning of pregnancy. The doctor you see should figure out how far along your pregnancy is by asking you about your last menstrual period. If there is uncertainty about the gestational age of your pregnancy, the doctor may refer you for an ultrasound, which will be provided free of charge if you live in Ireland and have a PPS number. In addition, a 3 day waiting period is required before you can have an abortion. This means that if a doctor confirms on a Monday that you are able to have an abortion, the earliest you can actually have the abortion is Thursday.
(2) Risk to life, health or diagnosis of fatal foetal condition
In these situations, you can access an abortion beyond 12 weeks, and the 3 day wait does not apply. Two doctors will have to certify that you meet the criteria (unless it is an emergency situation, in which case one doctor can make the certification).