Ads for crisis pregnancy helpline will name abortion as option

Women in a crisis pregnancy who need to ring the new 24-hour helpline are to be told explicitly that abortion is an option.

Advertisements for the phone line, which will go live on January 1, will say: “If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, ‘My Options’ is a new helpline that can give you free and confidential counselling.

“We can provide you with information and support on all your options, including continued pregnancy supports and abortion services.”

The use of the word abortion is significant as it does not appear in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill which is due to give effect to the new wider abortion services and may be signed into law by President Michael D Higgins this week.

Health Minister Simon Harris yesterday met the HSE and Dr Peter Boylan, the clinical adviser, on the provision of abortion services.

Updates were provided on the helpline and the public information campaign. It is envisaged the public information campaign will go live when the law is enacted. Doctors will get clinical guidelines and a model of care guide on a safe service today.

The majority of GPs who have signed a contract to provide the service have agreed their names be given to the helpline and passed on.

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