Warning as 'notorious rogue anti-choice' abortion support site appears online
The Irish Family Planning Association has issued a warning after a pro-life agency allegedly set up an abortion care website to "entrap" women seeking support.
The website, called 'My Options', claims to offer "abortion advice" and a "free ultrasound" for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.
The agency's phone number is also suggested when the words 'my options' are searched on Google.
My Options, the HSE's abortion support helpline and website, was officially launched on January 1. Its number is 1800 828 010 and its website is myoptions.ie.
This is the only number to call for unplanned pregnancy support under the HSE.
The IFPA issued a warning about the "notorious" agency today, claiming that the group had "manipulated" the search engine to ensure their contact details were suggested.
"A notorious rogue anti-choice agency has set up a website called My Options and manipulated its Google listing to entrap women who need abortion care," they wrote on Twitter.
"To reach the HSE My Options helpline, the only number to call is 1800 828 010. The website is at http://www.myoptions.ie ."
WARNING. A notorious rogue anti-choice agency has set up a website called My Options and manipulated its Google listing to entrap women who need abortion care. To reach the HSE MyOptions helpline, the only number to call is 1800 828 010. The website is at https://t.co/fK2fOwgCXR.
— IFPA (@IrishFPA) January 3, 2019
Details about the agency's prominence on Google first appeared earlier today, three days after the HSE launched their abortion care helpline.
The agency did not respond to a request about the type of "abortion advice" they offer, however they did suggest that Her.ie "have a look at our video blog and tell us your comments."
The video blog contains bogus information about the false link between abortion and cancer.
A spokesperson for Google said that they allow users to add information and places to provide "up-to-date details", but they also recognise that this can sometimes lead to "bad suggestions."
A statgement reads:
"We’re always looking to provide relevant information to users in Search, including locally relevant results.
"Overall, allowing users to suggest edits and add places allows us to have more comprehensive and up-to-date details, but we recognise there may be occasional inaccuracies or bad suggestions by users.
"When this happens, we do our best to address the issue as quickly as possible."
The HSE's helpline offers support to those facing an unplanned pregnancy, over-the-phone counselling, and information about free face-to-face counselling.
My Options also provides a 24/7 nursing team for someone who has had a recent abortion and needs medical advice.
You can find out more about the service here.