The abortion law in Northern Ireland is different to the abortion law in the Republic of Ireland. Women who are unable to access abortion there can travel to England for safe and legal treatment.
Every year thousands of women from the island of Ireland travel to have an abortion in England. We have over 40 years’ experience of supporting Irish women, and understand the difficult journey you may be facing.
You can self-refer to our abortion services directly, and do not need to tell your GP if you don’t want to. If you would like to speak to your GP first, it is legal for GPs in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to refer patients to abortion care providers, like us, in England.
Travelling from Northern Ireland
Abortion care is extremely restricted in Northern Ireland and most women travel to England for treatment.
In June 2017 the UK government announced they would commit to cover the cost of abortion care for women from Northern Ireland who are treated in England.
To receive funded abortion care you will need to:
- 1. Live in Northern Ireland (have a BT postcode); and
- 2. Provide a Health and Care Number (HCN).
If you are not sure of your HCN number, your GP surgery will be able to let you know what it is. You do not need to tell your GP why you need to know the number unless you want to. Please mention when booking if it is difficult for you to fund the cost of your travel and accommodation (and possibly those of a parent, guardian or carer). We will assess whether you are eligible for help with these expenses.
Travelling from the Republic of Ireland
In the Republic of Ireland you can legally have an abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, in line with the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018.
After 12 weeks it is possible to access abortion care in the Republic of Ireland if there is a risk of serious harm or a risk to the life of the pregnant person. It is also possible to access abortion care if there has been a diagnosis of fatal fetal abnormality.
For more information, please visit My Options, HSE’s official unplanned pregnancy website, or call them directly on 1800 828 010 for free.
If you are over 12 weeks of pregnancy, you can travel to England for safe and legal abortion care. We provide private abortion services up to 23 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, in line with the Abortion Act 1967.
We offer discounted abortion care fees to all those who live in the Republic of Ireland. We also offer free transfers from the airport or ferry port to get to and from your appointment.
Same-day consultation and treatment can be arranged for you (this is subject to availability and to your personal treatment option). Our trained advisors can talk you through your options and available appointments.
Please mention when booking if it is difficult for you to fund the cost of your travel and accommodation (and possibly those of a parent, guardian or carer). We will assess whether you are eligible for help with these expenses.
Marie Stopes UK has centres in England offering legal abortion services. These other trusted organisations in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be able to offer advice and referrals. Trustworthy organisations will never make you feel ashamed of your situation, and will never judge you for your choice.
In the Republic of Ireland
- My Options, HSE's official unplanned pregnancy website
- Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA)
- The Well Woman Centre (Dublin)
- The Sexual Health Centre (Cork)
- University College Cork Student Health
In Northern Ireland
Abortion Support Network helps people from Ireland and Northern Ireland travel to England to access safe and legal abortion. If you would like to access financial assistance from Abortion Support Network, please contact them before booking your travel.
Marie Stopes UK and those listed above, are supportive of choice and will not try to change your mind once you know which option is best for you.
Please be aware that anti-choice organisations may use emotional language and misrepresentative graphic images to try and make you feel guilty about considering abortion options. They won’t tell you about the legal, safe abortion options in England, and will not offer contraception advice to help you avoid unplanned pregnancy in the future. They may tell you information about abortion that is untrue and based on myth.
One of 3 Choices
Ending the pregnancy is just one of a few choices you have. The decision is about your future. Remember to take the time to consider everything, seek advice from specialist organisations if you need further guidance to decide if ending the pregnancy is the right choice for you. Other possible options include continuing the pregnancy to term and arranging adoption.
The decision is about your future. Remember to take the time to consider everything, seek advice from specialist organisations if you need further guidance to decide if ending the pregnancy is the right choice for you. Other possible options include continuing the pregnancy to term and arranging adoption, or continuing with the pregnancy to term and becoming a parent.
We're here to help 24/7. Get in touch.
From Northern Ireland
0333 234 2184
From Republic of Ireland
(Freephone) 1 800 200 374
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