More than half of people seeking abortions still do not know how to access services and women continue to travel abroad for terminations, new research reveals.
An extensive project, which evaluated people's experiences of abortion services since the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, highlights a substantial lack of public information on abortion, the Irish Examiner reports.
An online hub for women to share experiences and ask questions, more counselling, and the introduction of safe access zones, are among the measures suggested by those who have been through the service or who have sought a termination.
A significant finding of the research due to the published tomorrow is the fact patients felt they were not properly informed about the level of pain or amount and duration of bleeding they might experience with an early medical abortion, or how to manage these effects of the medication.
Participants said they wanted more information on what to expect.
Our research, carried out with Dr Lorraine Grimes, shows that the many pregnant people have to travel long distances due to a lack of abortion providers in Ireland.
The #RepealReview must engage with GPs and doctors to increase the number of providers. https://t.co/9lFaLgWyZx
— Abortion Rights IE (@freesafelegal) September 21, 2021
One respondent stated: “I wish there was more information on what a normal abortion looks like, and how long it can last.”
Another participant said that “reading people’s experiences gave me an incredible sense of not being alone”. She suggested that an online forum where people could ask questions about what they are going through would be helpful.
The report, complied by the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) and Lorraine Grimes, also recommends that an information campaign be rolled out as many participants were still unaware that abortion care is free and that once a pregnancy is over 12 weeks access to abortion is extremely limited.
More than half of respondents (54 per cent) did not know where to go to get an abortion, and 32 per cent said they did not know where to find information on abortion when they initially went looking.
The study, carried out between 2019 and 2021, reveals that many women have to travel long distances to reach providers.
Many respondents stated their disappointment at the lack of providers, even in urban areas. One person called for more engagement with “local GPs, or even those in regional towns, to maybe increase the chances of them providing abortion care”.