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Abortion & Irish Law

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Counselling imageAbortion is against the law in Ireland unless the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman. If you decide to terminate your pregnancy, you will have to travel to another country to access safe and legal abortion services.

Legally the IFPA can provide you with information on abortion services abroad in a face-to-face-counselling session. It is not legal to provide this information over the telephone.

Abortion & Irish Law

  • Abortion is legal in Ireland only when a pregnant woman's life is at risk. This includes the risk of suicide.
  • Access to abortion in such cases is governed by the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013. The Department of Health has issued guidelines for health professionals on the implementation of the Act.
  • Abortion is not legal in Ireland in cases of rape, incest or foetal anomaly.
  • Abortion is also criminalised in most circumstances in Northern Ireland.
  • There are some pregnancy counselling services whose sole purpose is to prevent women from having abortions. They misinform and intimidate women to achieve their aim. If you have been in contact with one of these agencies please contact the IFPA pregnancy helpline 1850 49 50 51.

Travelling Abroad to Access Abortion Services

  • Women cannot be prevented from travelling to access safe and legal abortion services in other countries.
  • Every year an estimated 5,000 women travel abroad to access safe and legal abortion services.
  • Most Irish women travel to Britain, where abortion is legal, up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, within certain conditions

You have the right to:

  • Request information on abortion services in other countries from your health care provider or crisis pregnancy counsellor.
  • Receive information on abortion services in other countries as part of a face-to-face counselling session on all your options (parenting, abortion & adoption).
  • Travel to another country to access safe and legal abortion services.
  • Access free pregnancy counselling, free post abortion counselling and free post-abortion medical check-ups in Ireland (funded by the State).
  • Be treated with dignity and respect at all times.


IFPA National Pregnancy Helpline 1850 49 50 51 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)

IFPA counselling locations: Cork, Dublin City Centre, Tallaght, Dundalk, Tuam, Galway, Gorey, Letterkenny, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.
The IFPA is a pro-choice organisation and our counsellors will support a woman's own choice in all cases.

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