Where do you actually turn if you have a crisis pregnancy in Ireland?
We reached out to the Abortion Rights Campaign and asked them simply, what do you do if you have a crisis pregnancy in Ireland?
This article should be fairly straightforward to write in this day and age in Ireland but it’s not.
Hopefully, it will help navigate some of the options out there. Not every unplanned pregnancy is a crisis one, and sometimes planned pregnancies can turn into crisis pregnancies.
Ideally, if you are lucky to have a good family doctor, who is pro- choice then you can book an appointment with them, confirm the pregnancy with a test and they can talk you through your options, including abortion.
Crisis Pregnancy Counselling Service
There are free crisis pregnancy counselling services set up which have free counselling sessions. The HSE funds a range of these and they are listed on the positive options website.
These are regulated as to what information may be given by the 1995 law on abortion information and the policies and guidelines laid down by the HSE.
These counselling services are divided into 2 option services and 3 option service. The first will only give information about continuing the pregnancy and adoption whereas 3 option services give information on continuing the pregnancy, adoption and abortion.
There is no way when looking at the listing on the positive options site to tell which are 2 option services and which are 3 option services. Some of the services have a religious ethos, one of the largest networks which is listed by positive options is that of Cura, which was set up by the Council of Bishops.
When you do go to a 3 options service what they can tell you is very restricted by law and usually they can only give the name and contact details for BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service).
Where to go if you need help in a crisis pregnancy?
If you want to be sure that you go to a 3 options service then we would suggest you ring the Irish Family Planning Association's National Pregnancy Helpline 1850 49 50 51.
If they do not have a clinic near you ,they can refer you on to a 3 option service close to you.
If you are in Dublin, you can also go to the Dublin Well Woman’s Centre and Femplus Clinic as they are also 3 option services.
Help outside of Ireland
As was mentioned there are limits on what services here in Ireland can do to help, from the information offered to practical help arranging to travel to the UK if a person chooses to have an abortion. Thankfully Abortion Support Network which is based in the UK is a charity which can help. They provide confidential nonjudgmental information about traveling to the UK. They also can provide some financial help to those who would not be able to travel otherwise.
Even if a person manages to get the money together needed, other obstacles may prevent them from traveling, lack of childcare, time off work, Visa or other travel documents or in some cases a person may be too ill to travel.
The HSE also funds free abortion aftercare, both counselling, and a medical checkup. Again the best option is to ring the Irish Family Planning Association's National Pregnancy Helpline 1850 49 50 51
If they do not have a clinic near you, they can refer you on to an available service.
The 5th Annual March for Choice will take place in Dublin on Saturday, September 24th marking the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion.
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