My Options: new HSE unplanned pregnancy support service, helpline and website

Tuesday, 1st January 2019

Visit myoptions.ie website for information about continued pregnancy supports or how to access abortion services, Freephone 1800 828 010 

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 my options 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 you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and need information about continued pregnancy supports or how to access abortion services, Freephone 1800 828 010 or visit myoptions.ie

ENDS

Issued by HSE National Press Office

01 92 139 12press@hse.ie

 

NOTES FOR EDITOR:

How abortion care will be provided in Ireland

People can access an abortion in Ireland from today, January 1st 2019. Abortion services will be provided in Ireland by the HSE through GPs in the community or family planning services, and in maternity units and hospital.

What abortion services will be provided?

The law allows abortion in the following cases:

  1. Up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. People under 9 weeks of pregnancy will mainly be cared for by a GP, and people between 9 and 12 weeks will be cared for in hospital
  2. Where there is a risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant person.  People in these cases will be cared for in a hospital setting.
  3. Where there is a condition likely to lead to the death of the foetus before or shortly after birth.  People in these cases will be cared for in a hospital setting.
     

What will the service cost?

Abortion care will be free of charge for people normally living in Ireland.

When will abortion services be available?

People can access an abortion in Ireland from today, January 1st, 2019. This means that GPs and family planning services who have signed up to provide the service will be able to begin caring for patients who want to have an abortion from this date. The following maternity units and hospitals will be providing abortion care, and it is expected that other hospitals will begin to provide abortion care in the near future.

  • National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin
  • Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar
  • Rotunda Hospital, Dublin
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda
  • University Hospital Galway
  • Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar
  • University Maternity Hospital Limerick
  • Cork University Maternity Hospital
  • University Hospital Waterford

 A lot of work is ongoing to set up services to care for women, and the HSE will provide information to women and to healthcare professionals about where and how services are available as they come on stream. 

How can people find out about abortion services and how to access them?

If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and want to find out about abortion services, please call the HSE’s My Options service at Freephone 1800 828 010 or on myoptions.ie. 

About My Options

  1. The HSE’s My Options service provides professional pregnancy counselling over the phone, and can also arrange access to face-to-face counselling.  We also provide post-abortion counselling.
  2. Information is available about all options, including ongoing pregnancy supports and abortion services.  Information and support provided by counsellors will be non-directive and non-judgmental.
  3. My Options provides a 24 hour nursing team for someone who has had a recent abortion and needs medical advice. The nursing team can also provide information on access to abortion services outside of the counselling phone line opening times.
  4. All My Options services are free of charge for anyone who needs them.
  5. Our counsellors are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.   Our nursing team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  6. Our website at myoptions.ie provides detailed information on unplanned pregnancy supports and abortion services.
  7. Our phone number is 1800 828 010.
Last updated on: 31 / 12 / 2018