Pro-life campaigners condemn new abortion pill helpline for Irish women
The helpline aims to provide advice to women who buy abortion pills.
It was announced earlier this week that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) launched a free phone helpline for women in Ireland, as well as Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, who buy abortion pills online.
The confidential service is run by nurses, and sets out to offer advice to women who buy abortion pills online, and to discuss symptoms or worries with women who chose to use the pills.
Although the pills are illegal in Ireland, BPAS recognises that many women are now taking the pills. In a statement on their website BPAS said:
"Some women have no alternative but to seek Early Medical Abortion (EMA) pills online. While the World Health Organisation has said that EMA medication is safe (even when taken outside a clinical setting), there are risks associated with buying EMA medication online. We do not advise anyone to take medication without qualified medical supervision, but if you have no other option, both Women on Web and Women Help Women can provide EMA pills, advice and support.
"Because we don't advise anyone to take medication without suitable medical supervision, we have launched a free confidential aftercare helpline for women who have bought pills from Women Help Women and Women on Web."
Pro-life group, Life Institute, released a statement which said that the BPAS helpline was a PR stunt.
Spokeswoman Niamh Ui Bhriain called it a "stunt designed to promote abortion rather than a genuine effort to help women".
"They should keep their nose out of Irish affairs and be challenged on the appalling number of abortions that are taking place in Britain, where they make millions from exploiting women and killing babies."
The helpline can be reached in Ireland on 1800-910049 and on 0800-0776049 from Northern Ireland.