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News – September 2011

A growth in post-abortion counselling and more reliance on support networks indicates an increased openness about crisis pregnancy, according to the IFPA’s Annual Report.

Counselling imageThe number of women presenting for post-abortion counselling at IFPA pregnancy counselling centres grew by 42% in 2010. This follows on from a 66% increase in 2009. Post-termination counselling now accounts for 17% of the IFPA’s counselling service’s client base.

This increase in demand for post-abortion counselling is due to improved awareness of the availability of IFPA post-abortion counselling services, increasing acceptability of abortion and growing recognition of the holistic benefits of counselling, according to IFPA Counselling Director Evelyn Geraghty.

Meanwhile, more than a third of the IFPA’s face-to-face counselling clients (37% of client base) attended for pregnancy counselling with a support person (partner, friend, family member or health care professional).

This growth in both post-abortion and overall counselling figures coupled with the presence of partners/family members at counselling sessions indicates an increased openness about crisis pregnancy in Ireland, according to Ms Geraghty.

“It is clear that women are much more willing to speak about their experiences of crisis pregnancy, are more open with their support network and are more likely to avail of services on offer.”

Figures from the IFPA annual report indicate that IFPA counsellors provided confidential and non-judgmental counselling and support to 4,740 clients through our pregnancy counselling network and national pregnancy helpline.

IFPA counselling services are offered to women and girls for free and are provided by professional accredited psychotherapists and counsellors at 11 centres nationwide. IFPA counselling service delivered face-to-face counselling to 1,146 clients in 2010. This represents an increase of 6% on the previous year.

“The women, girls and couples who attend IFPA’s counselling service do so for a wide variety of reasons. They come from all walks of life and all stages of life. Crisis pregnancies have always been and always will be a fact of women’s lives; our service is here to support and respect women’s choices in all cases.”

The majority (42%) of clients presenting for face-to-face pregnancy counselling in 2010 were aged between 25 and 34. Just over one third (36%) of clients were aged between 17 and 24. Women aged between 35 and 44 accounted for 15% of our client base.