Women can ring 24/7 line to seek abortion

(Stock photo)

Eilish O'Regan

Women seeking a medical abortion will be able to ring a 24/7 phone line and be directed to the nearest participating GP, the Irish Independent has learned.

Only GPs who consent to their names and addresses of surgeries being released will be identified over the phone.

The names of GPs who opt out of the service or do not want to be identified as a provider will not be released on the phone line.

There will be no published list of participating GPs that a woman would refer to online or at a health centre.

The HSE-run phone line will be available around the clock and manned by counsellors and midwives.

A woman inquiring about abortion will be offered counselling and she will also be triaged if she has already undergone an abortion and developed complications.

News of the phone line comes as many GPs continue to have concerns about how the service will operate and also their support back-up.

The proposed legislation allowing wider access to abortion comes before the health committee today with the aim of having it in law by January.

Around 100 amendments have been proposed.

They include removal of the three-day pause for women who have been given the go-ahead for abortion.

Another amendment seeks a change in the provision that makes it mandatory for the same doctor to certify the abortion and arrange for it to be carried out. This is seen as impractical.

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