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Deciding to have an abortion

Some people may be certain they want to have an abortion. Others may find it more difficult to make a decision.

The decision to have an abortion is yours alone. But you should take the chance to discuss your options with a health professional.

Unbiased information and support is available from:

You may also want to speak to your partner, friends or family. But you don't need to discuss it with anyone else and they don't have a say in the final decision.

Under 18 years

If you are under 18 years old you are encouraged to involve your parents or another supportive adult.

If you are over 16 years old and you choose not to involve an adult, a doctor can still offer you an abortion.

But this is only if they are confident that you understand the information and you can give consent. This is so that they know that you can make your own decision.

If you are aged 15 or under - and you choose not to involve your parents or another supportive adult - a doctor can still offer you an abortion. But only if:

  • there are exceptional circumstances
  • you have had an assessment with a doctor

If you decide to have an abortion, you have the right for your information to remain confidential.

But your doctor must report to Tusla - The Child and Family Agency, if:

  • you are under 15 and have had sex
  • you are aged 15 or 16 and having sex with someone who is at least 2 years older than you
  • you are under 17 and the doctor believes you are at risk of sexual abuse or harm
  • you are under 17 and the doctor believes you have been sexually abused or harmed

Individual circumstances

We understand that people request abortions for many different reasons.

If something has happened or there is something that your GP or doctor should be aware of, please let them know. This could include if:

  • you have been a victim of rape
  • you are an asylum seeker
  • you are homeless

Your GP or doctor can provide you with the right kind of support and guidance that you need.

If you have been raped, the Rape Crisis Centre can provide you with free support and information. You can call them on freephone 1800 77 88 88.

page last reviewed: 18/12/2018
next review due: 18/12/2021

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