Abortion is healthcare: Irish women still forced to travel for essential service

Senator Annie Hoey image
14 April 2024
  • 6 years after Ireland voted for compassion in crisis

Labour’s Senator Annie Hoey has today said it is disgraceful that almost six years after the repeal of the 8th amendment, women still find themselves forced to travel to access essential healthcare services.

Senator Hoey said:

“The continued necessity for Irish women to travel for abortion services underscores the urgent need for comprehensive reforms. Research shows numerous barriers persist, including the restrictive nature of the 12-week rule and the scarcity of healthcare providers in rural areas.

“We know there is a lack of GPs providing abortion services outside of main urban areas which poses significant challenges for many women. In 13 counties, fewer than 10 GPs offer abortion care. For example, young girls and women from rural areas are reporting having to make two lonely trips to their local city for abortion appointments. There is no need to make an already vulnerable time even more challenging.

“It is Labour’s firm belief that all healthcare should be available and delivered in a community setting, so it’s clear that swift action is needed from Government to increase the regional spread of service providers.

“In addition, the removal of the three-day wait period is crucial to reducing the burden on GPs and ensuring timely access to abortion care. This unnecessary ‘reflection’ time is contrary to compassionate healthcare and undermines the rights of women to access the services they need without delay.

“There’s no time for further delay, Minister Donnelly must prioritise legislating for the much needed changes like the removal of the three day wait period and a more compassionate and workable approach to fatal foetal abnormalities.

“No other patient is subjected to such delays in accessing essential healthcare. Almost six years have passed since the repeal of the 8th amendment, and there can be no further delay. Abortion is a fundamental healthcare service, and every effort must be made to ensure equitable access for all women in Ireland. Compassion in a crisis is what people campaigned on and voted for in 2018. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens cannot row back on their promises to the women of Ireland.”

Stay up to date

Receive our latest updates in your inbox.
By subscribing you agree to receive emails about our campaigns, policies, appeals and opportunities to get involved. Privacy Policy

Follow us

Connect with us on social media