Accessing crisis pregnancy services during COVID-19
If you find yourself in a crisis pregnancy, there is support out there for you
Having an unplanned pregnancy can be a confusing and stressful time. Experiencing this in the middle of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic can create even more confusion as you try to decide what to do.
However, it’s important to know that there is support available, and you do have options.
What to do if you have an unplanned pregnancy during COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Speaking to a crisis pregnancy counsellor is a great way to make sense of the situation you are in and explore all of your options. The counsellor will offer you non-directive, non-judgemental support, which means they will listen to you without judging you, and they won’t tell you what to do, but will help you come to a decision for yourself.
Although many crisis pregnancy counselling services can no longer see clients face-to-face, it is possible to access counselling and advice online or over the phonevia the HSE My Options Helpline.
My Options freephone helpline
My Options is a HSE freephone line that provides free and confidential information and counselling to people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The helpline will remain open during the pandemic.
You can get in touch with them for free at 1800 828 010. Their opening hours are:
- Information and counselling is available from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and from 10am to 2pm Saturday
- Medical advice is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If you would like an appointment in Irish Sign Language (ISL), you can book that appointment here.
You can also access a webchat on the HSE My Options page.
Abortion services during COVID-19
Since January 2019, abortion care has been available on a woman’s request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Most women were given a medical abortion, using two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. The model of care required two face-to-face visits to a doctor, three days apart. The mifepristone tablet was taken with the doctor present, and the misoprostol at home 24 to 48 hours later.
In April 2020, the HSE issued an updated model of care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This model aims to keep face-to-face visits to the minimum while complying with the law and ensuring patient safety. Most women now have their two medical appointments remotely, only coming to the clinic to collect their Home Care Pack containing the abortion medications and information materials.
Feeling overwhelmed or anxious around the current pandemic?
- Get anonymous support 24/7 with our text message support service
- Connect with a trained volunteer who will listen to you, and help you to move forward feeling better
- Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280 to begin
- Find out more about our text message support service
This situation is completely new to everyone involved and it is normal to feel worried or anxious about what is going on. Following the Government’s instructions on how to stay safe and help slow the spread of the virus, can help to make you feel more in control of your current situation.
If you feel overwhelmed by the current situation and need someone to talk to, our anonymous, 24 hour text line is always open. You're worth talking about and we're here to listen and support you.