As we come to the end of 2018 and the 1st January 2019 approaches, we arrive at a momentous point in Irish Maternity Care. For the first time in the history of the Irish State, women girls and pregnant people will be able to avail a regulated abortion service provided by the HSE
There is still a certain degree of uncertainty as to what service will be available where, when and by whom. AIMS Ireland will update our website with information as it becomes available.
All maternity hospitals and maternity units have been directed to provide terminations when a woman’s life is at risk, or when her health is at risk and in cases of emergency.
So far nine hospitals will (on referral), will provide medical abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy or a surgical abortion at between 9 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. These maternity units or maternity hospitals are:
Mayo University Hospital
University Hospital Galway
National Maternity Hospital, Dublin
Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar
Limerick Maternity Hospital
Cork University Maternity Hospital
Waterford General Hospital
The Rotunda Hospital, Dublin
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda
Recent radio coverage from Radio Kerry indicates that University Hospital Kerry will also be ready to provide a service soon
The Well Woman Centre and the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) have agreed to the provision of a medical abortion service up to 9 weeks starting in January. The IFPA said it hopes to begin on 7th January 2019.
The 24/7 helpline offering counselling and direction to the nearest service will go live on January 1st 2019.
The phone line number is 1800 828 010.
Patient Information Booklets have been sent to GPs and hospitals and they are available digitally here on our website.
Radio ads for the phone line will begin on 1st of January 2019.
Roscommon and Sligo are the two counties in Ireland which will not be providing abortion services from the 1st of January 2019 as no GPs in these counties have so far indicated that they will be willing to provide a service and there are also no maternity units in these counties providing a service. Women living in the two Connacht counties will have to travel to GPs in bordering counties such as Mayo in order to access abortions
A full list of GPs who can begin prescribing the abortion pill up to nine weeks into a pregnancy is not likely to be made available when the service commences on the 1st January 2019 for fear of anti choice protests. However, women seeking support from the help line will be directed to service providers in their geographic area on an individual needs basis.
More information is available on the HSE website