Not a single Offaly GP signs up to provide new abortion services
Not a single GP in Offaly has signed up to supply abortion services, the Irish Times has reported.
Offaly is one of just four counties where doctors have failed to sign up to the new services which became legal in Ireland on January 1.
Similarly, no GPs in Leitrim, Carlow or Sligo have signed up to provide the services. It's understood some doctors fear protests outside their premises if they sign up.
Under the new service, GPs will provide medical abortions using the abortion pill to women up to nine weeks, while terminations between nine and 12 weeks are performed in hospitals.
The Health Service Executive says details of abortion services are provided through the new My Options helpline on 1800 828 010 and the www.myoptions.ie website.
The new website provides information for people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Myoptions.ie also gives detailed information on abortion services and how they work.
Abortion care will be free of charge to people who need it.
The HSE says there have been quite a lot of calls to the helpline already.
The HSE has listed the maternity units providing abortion care in Ireland:
- National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin
- Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar
- Rotunda Hospital, Dublin
- Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda
- University Hospital Galway
- Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar
- University Maternity Hospital Limerick
- Cork University Maternity Hospital
- University Hospital Waterford
On top of that, just short of 200 of the country's 3,500 GPs have signed up to provide the service.
What abortion services will be provided?
The law allows abortion in the following cases:
Up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. People under 9 weeks of pregnancy will mainly be cared for by a GP, and people between 9 and 12 weeks will be cared for in hospital.
Where there is a risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant person. People in these cases will be cared for in a hospital setting.
Where there is a condition likely to lead to the death of the foetus before or shortly after birth. People in these cases will be cared for in a hospital setting.