On 22 October 2019 abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland and a new framework enabling lawful access to services came into effect from 31 March 2020.
Following the introduction of the new regulations an interim early medical abortion (EMA) service (up to 9 weeks and 6 days) was established in Northern Ireland in April 2020. This is currently being provided through existing sexual and reproductive health services in the Belfast, Southern, Northern and Western Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts.*
Accessing this healthcare in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy will involve attending a local HSC clinic to take the first abortion pill, while the second set of pills will be taken at home.
The referral pathway into this service is provided by ICNI through the Central Access Point. This enables women and pregnant people to contact a single telephone number in order to access non-directive information, pregnancy choices counselling and if/when requested referral into a local EMA service.
If your gestation is under 10 weeks and you do not wish to continue with the pregnancy, or you wish to discuss your pregnancy choices further, please call the Central Access Point on 028 9031 6100. This helpline is staffed from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Translation services can also be arranged.
If the gestation of your pregnancy is beyond 10 weeks, or you cannot be treated locally, abortion services can still be accessed through the UK government funded Central Booking System provided by BPAS on 0333 234 2184.
ICNI also provide Post Pregnancy counselling for those who have experienced pregnancy loss – either through abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth – have experienced a traumatic birth or suffer from postnatal depression or anxiety.
*The EMA service in the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has been suspended. Areas covers by this Trust include Ballynahinch, Bangor, Downpatrick, Dundonald, Dunmurry, Hillsborough, Holywood, Lisburn, Newcastle, Newtownards, Portaferry and Saintfield. People living within this Trust area can continue to call the Central Access Point to discuss their pregnancy options.
Get in touch
For more information contact:
Tel: 028 9031 6100