Less than one in nine Irish GPs are providing abortion services 5 months ago

Less than one in nine Irish GPs are providing abortion services

It has been almost four years since the abortion referendum took place – when the majority of us here in Ireland voted resoundingly to legalise abortion.

And more than three years have passed since the thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution was made, permitting the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion.

Since January 2019, abortions have been allowed in Ireland during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

And for the first nine weeks, they are allowed to take place in GP surgeries. After the nine-week mark, abortions have to take place in hospitals.

However, according to Freedom of Information (FOI) figures released to Newstalk earlier this week, less than one in nine GPs in Ireland are currently providing abortion services. What this means, is that 88 percent of GPs across the country do not offer their patients abortion services.

And even more surprisingly, just over half of the country's maternity units (10 out of 19) carry out pregnancy terminations.

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Speaking on Newstalk, Peigin Doyle is from Sligo Action for Reproductive Rights Access, says:

"At this point in time, no Sligo GP has signed up for the HSE MyOptions website to provide public termination services. And it is a serious problem in Sligo, because Sligo patients are being referred to GPs outside the county."

Agreeing with Doyle that this is very poor is Orla O'Connor, director of the National Women's Council.

"We believe in the National Women's Council that all 19 should be offering a full suite of reproductive healthcare services, in line with the law," O'Connor explains.

"And I think the point is that these are publicly-funded hospitals"