Tuesday 22 May 2018

Abortion posters and debate triggering a rise in demand for counselling

Posters for the upcoming abortion referendum (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Posters for the upcoming abortion referendum (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Poster images linked to the referendum on the Eighth Amendment and the ongoing abortion debate are triggering a rise in women seeking counselling.

One Family said it is seeing an increase in the numbers of women into seeking its post-abortion and crisis pregnancy counselling services.

One Family supports people parenting alone, sharing parenting, and separating.

It is extending its counselling hours and nationwide post-abortion supports on its helpline to meet demand.

One Family’s counselling services are free, professional, non-judgemental and HSE approved and funded.

Chief executive, Karen Kiernan, said: “We have seen a marked increase in users accessing our post-abortion services as the campaign has intensified.

“The images, slogans and stories are acting as a powerful trigger for women who have experience of abortion and may need counselling.

“That is why we have increased our counselling service hours. We anticipate this spike in calls to continue until the vote on May 25, this is in line with what was seen by the LGBT helpline services during the marriage equality referendum in 2015.”

”Our priority is that these vulnerable people get the care they require. It doesn’t matter how they had the abortion, if they travelled or took a pill bought on-line, we don’t record how or where it happened. We provide a free, safe, confidential, non-judgemental professional service and we have done so since 1972," she added.

Director of Counselling at One Family, Marguerite McCarthy pointed out : "Often a woman or a couple never speak about an abortion or termination; it’s hidden from family and friends.

“For some women and couple this is fine. These people can cope and get on with their lives. But for others, an image on a poster or leaflet can bring up a flood of emotions and they need to talk. We work with these women and couples, so they can move on with their lives.”

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