Galway Pro-Choice calls for end to three-day abortion waiting period

Galway Pro-Choice has called for the three-day waiting period for getting an abortion to be removed.

Under the legislation for the Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018, a person must wait three days after they seek an abortion before they can have it carried out.

The HSE has outlined that this is “so a GP or doctor can certify that you are no more than 12 weeks pregnant… This delay of at least 3 days can give you time to decide for sure if you want to go ahead with the abortion.”

Ahead of the review of Ireland’s abortion laws, Aisling Hayes, member of Galway Pro-Choice, has raised concerns that the three-day waiting period is an unnecessary clause in the legislation.

“We would like the three-day waiting period removed because it’s completely medically unnecessary and has been proven to be as such,” she said.

Photo Credit: Galway Pro-Choice (Facebook)

The legislation has provided for access to abortion services up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and Ms Hayes has expressed concern of the time delay.

“It could be the difference between before 12 weeks and after 12 weeks,” she said.

The abortion rights group have also expressed that they would like the 12-week period extended.

“Our policy is ‘free, safe, legal’ which means we don’t believe in any term limits. We think abortion should be available on request up to 24 weeks, for any reason.”

“It’s not up to the state or anyone else to police anyone’s reasons for having an abortion, it is their business and theirs only,” Ms Hayes said.

She has linked these issues to previous concerns raised by abortion rights groups such as access to services.

“We are looking for (the Government) to give us a better picture of who can get an abortion and where, in Ireland.”

“We also want them to implement exclusion zones around abortion providers because we worry that some services haven’t opted to provide the service as they’re worried about negative tension around their business,” she said.

Photo Credit: Galway Pro-Choice (Facebook)

Only ten public hospitals in the country currently provide abortion services, according to the HSE website.

While GPs can provide the service, abortion rights groups have raised concerns that finding out who has opted to provide the service is difficult.

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