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.
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:
- be certified that your pregnancy will be no more than 12 weeks at the time of the abortion — you might be referred for a free ultrasound scan to check how many weeks pregnant you are
- be asked about why you want an abortion and whether you're sure about your decision
- be offered the chance to talk things over with a counsellor
- talk to a health professional about the types of abortion available
- be told about any risks and complications
- be offered contraceptive advice and a prescription if you ask for it
- be given information and advice on sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- have a blood test to find out your blood type (if you're over 7 weeks pregnant)
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.
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.
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.