Clinics intend to start services on 7th January
Press release, 21st December 2018
The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) has completed its preparations for the introduction of abortion services. It intends to begin providing abortion care at its clinics in Dublin City Centre and Tallaght on 7th January 2019, as long as the key elements of HSE services are finalised.
Niall Behan, IFPA Chief Executive, said: “Preparing our abortion service has been the focus of our work since the referendum. We’re ready and we’re dedicated to providing abortion care to women in Ireland for the first time.”
Mr Behan said the IFPA was proud to be at the vanguard of the new services after campaigning for abortion rights for decades.
“The IFPA has been advocating for full reproductive healthcare in Ireland for 50 years,” he said. “The organisation was founded at a time when even basic contraception was illegal in this country. We’re now at a place where we can provide safe and legal abortion care for women and girls in Ireland and this is truly momentous. We’ve been working hard to ensure that we can deliver the best possible care.”
Mr Behan added: “This is an entirely new service, developed in the extremely tight timeframe set by the Minister for Health. The onus is on the Department of Health and the HSE to ensure that women who seek abortion care have timely access and don’t encounter any barriers.”
IFPA Medical Director, Dr Caitriona Henchion, said: “Our abortion care service can only begin as planned if the medication and pregnancy tests are supplied on time, and the protocols for rhesus testing and the provision of anti-D are finalised. Most important is the referral pathway.
“Our clinics will be providing early medical abortions up to nine weeks’ gestation. Patients who have their first appointment with us and are between nine and 12 weeks pregnant will need to be referred for hospital care. We cannot arrange those first appointments until we are certain those referral pathways are in place.”
The IFPA has been providing crisis pregnancy counselling and post-abortion care for many years and these services will continue.
Mr Behan said: “Our free non-directive counselling service will be available for anyone who chooses to use it, at our ten counselling centres around the country. Our post-abortion care service will be available to our own patients and to women who have travelled for a termination.”
He concluded: “We will also continue to give support and information to women and girls who will need to travel abroad for care because they fall outside the provisions of the legislation.”
The Irish Family Planning Association provides a full range of sexual and reproductive health services in its two not-for-profit medical clinics at 5-7 Cathal Brugha St, Dublin 1; and Level 3, The Square Tallaght, Dublin 24. The clinics will begin taking appointments for the new abortion care service on Wednesday 2nd January 2019 for the first appointments on Monday 7th January 2019.