Where to go for an abortion
Abortions can be carried out by a:
- GP surgery that provides abortion services
- family planning clinic that provides abortion services
- women's health clinic that provides abortion services
- hospital that provides abortion services
You will have appointments on different days.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, you may not be able you to attend a doctor in person to access abortion services.
Your pre-abortion consultation will be over the phone or by video link. This is a temporary change.
The doctor will tell you if they need to see you in person. But it will depend on how many weeks you are pregnant and the type of abortion you are having.
Who to contact for an abortion
To have an abortion you can contact:
- the My Options support service on freephone 1800 828 010
- a GP surgery that provides abortion services
- a family planning clinic that provides abortion services
- a women's health clinic that provides abortion services
You must have an abortion in a hospital if you:
- are more than 9 weeks pregnant
- have any medical conditions or health-related illness. For example, severe anaemia, pre-existing heart disease or severe cardiovascular disease
- have become pregnant despite using an intrauterine device (IUD) — an IUD is a contraceptive device. It used to be called a coil or a loop
If you need to go to a hospital to have an abortion, your GP will refer you.
Cost of an abortion
An abortion is available free through the HSE if you live in the Republic of Ireland.
If you live outside the Republic of Ireland, you can have an abortion in the Republic of Ireland. But you will have to pay for it.
How long an abortion takes
The length of time for an abortion will be different. It depends on what type of abortion you have.
You should go to the doctor or GP as early as possible in your pregnancy. This is because you need to allow for the time it may take to get certified for an abortion and for the 3-day wait. This is the law.
It is important to remember that a doctor can only carry out an abortion if you are under 12 weeks pregnant, unless under certain circumstances.
Not all doctors provide abortion services
Your GP or doctor might not provide abortion services.
They don't have to provide an abortion service if they don't want to.
This may be because they conscientiously object to abortion. Conscientious objection is when medical staff refuse to take part in a procedure if it goes against their religious or moral beliefs.
They may also have other reasons for not providing abortion services.
If your GP or doctor will not carry out an abortion, they should always refer you to someone who does provide the service.
If your doctor isn’t helpful, try to see another one.
Our unplanned pregnancy support service — My Options — provides free information on abortion services. Call My Options on freephone 1800 828 010.
You have a right to confidentiality. All your details and treatment information will be kept confidential.
The decision you make about your abortion care will be between you and your doctor.
If you don't want to tell anyone about your abortion, you don't have to.
You might not want your GP to know that you had an abortion. If so, you can have it in a family planning clinic or a woman's health clinic. Your GP won't be told if you don’t want them to know.
Information about an abortion doesn't go on your medical record.
Under 18 years old
If you're aged 16 to 17, your parents don't usually need to be told.
But your GP or doctor might have to report your details to Tusla - The Child and Family Agency if they believe there is a risk to your safety or welfare.
If you are under 16, you cannot get an abortion without a parent or guardian.
Your personal details
All your details and treatment information will be kept confidential. But your GP or doctor may need to share some details about your abortion with us and some other State agencies. This is:
- for legal reasons
- to access HSE funding so you can have an abortion for free
- to help us improve our abortion service
Anyone who is given information about your abortion has to keep it confidential.
Your doctor will need to let the Department of Health know that an abortion has been carried out. This is because of the law on abortion. The information will be anonymous. They will not have your name or any other personal details.
Your doctor will need to share a personal ID number with us. This could be your PPS number or medical card number. This is so we can pay your GP or doctor for any abortion services they give you.
We may use details about your abortion to help us improve our abortion service. But we will not use your name or other personal details.