IFPA welcomes Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, TD, and Minister of State, Frank Feighan, TD, to its sexual and reproductive healthcare clinic in Dublin city centre to mark Sexual and Reproductive Health Day during Women’s Health Week 2022
Today the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) welcomed Minister of Health, Stephen Donnelly, TD and Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan, TD to its Dublin city centre sexual and reproductive health clinic.
Niall Behan, CEO of the IFPA said:
“As Ireland’s leading sexual health provider for over 50 years, we welcomed the opportunity to discuss a range of critical sexual and reproductive health and rights policy issues and the future of sexual and reproductive healthcare in Ireland as part of Women’s Health Week 2022. Key amongst these was the expansion of telemedicine in healthcare and how this has positively impacted our clients. We highlighted how the provision of remote access to abortion care since April 2020 has expanded patient choices and supported reproductive autonomy.
“This is in line with the new guidance on abortion issued yesterday by the World Health Organisation which recommends the option of telemedicine as an alternative to in-person care, or as part of a blended model—as we provide at the IFPA.”
IFPA Medical Director, Dr Caitríona Henchion said:
“Twenty-five years ago when I started with the IFPA, contraception was available, but not universally accessible, abortion was illegal and STIs were stigmatized.
“The progress since then on sexual and reproductive health and rights has been transformative and continues to evolve. Looking to the future we discussed issues including the rapid expansion of the Government’s new free contraception scheme, and the necessity for improved abortion access within women’s healthcare, with Minister Donnelly and Minister of State Feighan.
“We look forward to continued collaboration with the HSE and the Department of Health towards more equitable and person-centred sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.”
The Minister for Health said: “It is fantastic to have this opportunity during Women’s Health Week to see the progress that has been made in delivering sexual and reproductive healthcare in Ireland over the past 50 years. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the IFPA for all of its work on supporting women’s health, in collaboration with the HSE and wider health service. The IFPA is a key stakeholder as we roll out wider access to contraception later this year.”
The Minister for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy said: “I would like to congratulate the IFPA for their positive contributions to sexual healthcare in Ireland. This is particularly vital at the moment – STI rates have been rising recently, both nationally and internationally. In response, we have been able to invest an additional €3.3m in online STI testing and other projects that support sexual health. I continue to encourage people to come forward and get tested if they feel they are at risk – early treatment is vital to protect everyone’s health.”
For press and media queries please contact Communications Officer Sophie Mac Neice on 085 7249795
- The IFPA is Ireland’s leading sexual health provider. The organisation offers a comprehensive range of services which promote sexual health and support reproductive choice on a not-for-profit basis, and promotes the right of all people to comprehensive, dedicated and affordable sexual and reproductive health information and services.
- Today the IFPA clinics in Tallaght and Cathal Brugha St are at the forefront of reproductive healthcare in Ireland. Clinic services include: early abortion care, post-abortion care, contraception, specialist pregnancy counselling, cervical screening, menopause check-ups and treatment and STI screening and treatment. In 2014, the IFPA opened Ireland’s only dedicated free clinic for women who have undergone FGM; we provide clinical evaluation and referral for treatment as appropriate and also specialist counselling for clients on who FGM was perpetrated.
- On March 9th 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued the third edition of its guidelines on abortion care: https://www.who.int/news/item/09-03-2022-access-to-safe-abortion-critical-for-health-of-women-and-girls. The guidance recommends telemedicine as part of abortion care, and the removal of medically unnecessary policy barriers to safe abortion, such as criminalization, mandatory waiting periods, and limits on when during pregnancy an abortion can take place. Such barriers can lead to critical delays in accessing treatment and put women and girls at greater risk of unsafe abortion, stigmatization, and health complications, while increasing disruptions to education and their ability to work.