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:
- My Options, our free unplanned pregnancy support service — call freephone 1800 828 010 (outside of the Republic of Ireland call +353 59 913 8175)
- a GP, family planning clinic or women's health clinic that provides abortion services
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
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.