Ireland’s new abortion service is the envy of many healthcare systems
I am incredibly proud as a GP to be part of something so worthwhile and rewarding
Thu, Feb 21, 2019
I never thought I would be a provider of abortion services. It’s not that surprising really. Abortion was not mentioned once in the medical curriculum when I qualified 14 years ago. It was an unspoken phenomenon, a secret reality. Before I became a GP, I never had a real conversation about abortion. It’s astonishing to consider that fact now, knowing that 25 million unsafe abortions happen each year, mostly in developing countries. High-profile legal cases, such as the X Case, were not seen as healthcare issues by our profession.
The threat of criminalisation contributed to this silence– a chilling effect, with doctors worried if they provided information or if they acted outside of the constitutional restraints, imposed by the Eighth Amendment. Though there are notable exceptions, including the Irish Family Planning Association, it is a sad epitaph that it took so long for the medical profession to find its voice.
Abortion, Newly Legal in Ireland, Faces Old Roadblocks
By Ceylan Yeginsu
Jan. 28, 2019
DUBLIN — The abortion clinic’s website pops up at the top of a Google search for “free ultrasound,” its content and color scheme mimicking the government’s new support service for unplanned pregnancy.
“Looking for abortion advice?” “How far along am I?” The bright orange speech bubbles attached to stock images of smiling medical experts purport to inform women about abortion options that became legally available in Ireland on Jan. 1.
Abortion law change: Is Northern Ireland really next?
Pro-choice activists in the North hope a string of court cases will advance their cause
Sat, Jan 12, 2019
On the 29th of this month, Sarah Ewart will appear before the High court in Belfast to present her case that women in Northern Ireland should have access to rights enjoyed by women in all other parts of the United Kingdom.
Ewart is bracing herself – this appearance, while demanding, will be infinitely less agonising than other ordeals she has been through. Five years ago, aged 23, the Belfast woman travelled to an abortion clinic in England to terminate a much wanted pregnancy that was otherwise going to end with the birth of a baby with a foetal abnormality.
First widespread administration of abortion pills likely to take place today
Law requires at least three days elapse between a consultation and a termination
Jan 7, 2018
Today marks the day when Ireland’s new abortion service gets under way in earnest, with the first women likely to receive their medication in GP surgeries around the State.
With legislation requiring that at least three days elapse between a consultation with a doctor and a termination, a woman who visited a GP surgery that reopened last Wednesday, January 2nd, would have been due to take mifepristone, a drug that stops the pregnancy, on Saturday.
Abortion: 162 GPs enough to end need to travel abroad – Harris
Thirty doctors signed up do not want HSE to give their details out to avoid being targeted
Dec 29, 2018
Colm Keena, Jennifer Bray, Patsy McGarry
The 162 doctors signed up to provide abortion services in the State will “be enough” to ensure that women do not have to go abroad to terminate a pregnancy after January 1st, Minister for Health Simon Harris has said.
An uneven geographic spread of services will be available from Tuesday, when GPs can begin prescribing the abortion pill to women up to nine weeks into a pregnancy and hospitals can provide terminations up to 12 weeks. However, there are two counties where no GP has signed up to the service.
Irish Family Planning Association to provide abortion services from January 7th
Referral pathway must be finalised by HSE before service can begin, says medical director
Dec 21, 2018
The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) is to start providing abortion services from January 7th – but only if the proper supports are in place.
Having completed its preparations for providing abortions, the IFPA intends to begin the service at its clinics in Dublin city centre and Tallaght next month “as long as the key elements of HSE services are finalised”.
Abortion services only available on fourth day
December 18 2018
Women seeking an abortion will have to wait three full days for the procedure, the chief medical officer has clarified. Angry pro-choice TDs said they had been led to believe that women would get an abortion on the third day and not have to wait until the fourth.
Abortion will be legal in Ireland from next month. There was controversy about the enforcment of a three-day waiting period between a doctor agreeing that a woman can have an abortion, and the procedure.
‘Sheer Joy’: Ireland Will Have Free Abortion Care on January 1
Dec 17, 2018
Abortion in Ireland will be free, safe, and legal up to 12 weeks into pregnancy starting January 1, a major blow to the Catholic Church and opponents of the country’s abortion rights law, who tried to drag out the legislative process with support from U.S. anti-choice advisers.
To Bríd Smith, People Before Profit member of Irish parliament, the repeal of the Eighth Amendment banning abortion in Ireland was “one of those rare moments in life when you feel such joy, the sheer joy of beating back the Catholic Church’s agenda, really beating it back for once. And pride, because we put a huge amount of effort into it and had witnessed a new generation of young Irish people completely different to what we had known.”
Abortion in Ireland: A guide to how it will work
Everything you need to know before the planned introduction of termination services
Dec 7, 2018
With just three weeks to go before the planned introduction of abortion in Ireland, there remains widespread scepticism among health professionals that the deadline of January 1st will be met. The legislation to give effect to the measure still has to complete its passage through the Oireachtas and questions about resources and supports have still to be fully answered. The thorny issue of conscientious objection also looms large for many doctors, nurses and pharmacists, and existing Medical Council ethical guidelines governing the medical profession will not be revised in time for the deadline.
Notwithstanding these considerable doubts, the Government and in particular Minister for Health Simon Harris has made the provision of abortion by the start of next month an absolute priority. At this point, it therefore seems likely the service will begin as planned in the New Year.
Nurses campaign to opt out of abortion provision
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
By Evelyn Ring
A group of nurses and midwives has joined GPs in declaring they do not want to participate in providing abortion services. The group, Nurses & Midwives4Life Ireland, says if a woman opts for a surgical termination, they will be asked to provide the pre-operative care, to which they object.
Last month, hundreds of anti-abortion GPs voiced their concerns about the new laws and asked Health Minister Simon Harris not to rush legislation through.