Skip to main content

Warning notification:Warning

Unfortunately, you are using an outdated browser. Please, upgrade your browser to improve your experience with HSE. The list of supported browsers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Edge
  3. FireFox
  4. Opera
  5. Safari

Before having an abortion

You need to have a consultation before having an abortion.

This is to make sure that having an abortion is the right choice for you.

The pre-abortion consultation is normally done in person. In some cases it can be by phone or online video call.

Who you have your consultation with is up to you.

You can have it with either a:

  • GP surgery that provides abortion services
  • family planning clinic that provides abortion services
  • women's health clinic that provides abortion services

The doctor will tell you what an abortion involves. They will also check that your pregnancy is no more than 12 weeks. This is the law.

Pre-abortion consultation

Your doctor will need to know your PPS number.

You can also tell them your scheme card number for 1 of the following:

  • Drugs Payment Scheme
  • Long-Term Illness Scheme
  • Medical Card Scheme
  • GP Visit Scheme

Your doctor needs this information so that the HSE can pay them for the service provided.

All your details and treatment will remain confidential.

During your consultation, you will:

Your GP or doctor will give you a date for the abortion.

The abortion will be at least 3 days after your pre-abortion consultation. For example, if you are seen on a Monday, the earliest you can have an abortion is on Thursday. This is the law.

You can change your mind at any point up to the start of the abortion.

Giving your consent

Before you have an abortion, you will be asked to give your consent to the doctor.

This is to confirm that you:

  • have been told about the different abortion methods
  • know the possible side effects and risks
  • understand this information
  • have checked that your contact details are correct — this is so we can contact you about your test results or changes to your appointment

You'll give consent verbally if you are under 9 weeks pregnant. But if you are attending a hospital for your abortion, you'll be asked to sign a consent form.

Medical abortion consent form

Surgical abortion consent form

Informing your partner

It is your choice whether you inform your partner or not about your decision. This will depend on your relationship with them.

If you are worried that your partner will try to influence your decision, you can talk to your GP for advice.

If you do not feel safe in your relationship with your partner, you can get confidential advice from Women's Aid on freephone 1800 341 900.

Rhesus negative blood type

If your blood type is rhesus negative, you may have to get an anti-D injection in a hospital.

An anti-D injection prevents possible harm to future pregnancies.

If you're having a surgical abortion you will get the anti-D injection in the hospital.

If you are 9 to 12 weeks pregnant and having a medical abortion in hospital, you will get the injection there.

If you are under 9 weeks pregnant and getting a medical abortion, you will not need to get the injection.

Page last reviewed: 28 October 2022
Next review due: 28 October 2025