Pro-life group: ‘ROI must not endanger women by extending DIY abortions’

The Republic of Ireland must not make permanent the temporary coronavirus measures which allow women to take unsafe abortion pills at home, a pro-life group has warned.

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, the then Minister for Health Simon Harris determined that women under twelve weeks pregnant could take abortion pills at home following a waiting period of three days after a phone or video consultation with a doctor.

But the Health Service Executive (HSE) is expected to recommend an extension of the measures. The current Health Minister Stephen Donnelly told the lower house of the Irish Parliament that the HSE claimed that “the majority of providers within primary care feel that a blend of remote and in-person care is optimal”.


Eilís Mulroy of the Pro Life Campaign criticised Donnelly for contravening “repeated assurances” from Harris and the Department of Health that the measures were only intended to last for the duration of the pandemic.

She highlighted that the HSE previously acknowledged that in-person consultations increase the chance of identifying coercion. She called it “unconscionable” if the Government extends home abortions “knowing that it increases the chances of women being coerced into having abortions against their will”.

Donnelly stated that “consideration of appropriate next steps” will form part of an undergoing examination of the findings from the HSE’s review of the Revised Model of Care for abortion.


Earlier this year, home abortions became available to women throughout Britain on a permanent basis after temporary rules introduced at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic became law.

From late March 2020, women in England and Wales who are less than ten weeks pregnant have been allowed to take the two pills required for a chemical abortion at home without medical supervision, after just a telephone or video consultation with a doctor.

The regulations were initially only set to last up to two years or until the end of the pandemic, whichever came first.

The Scottish Government also confirmed that home abortions would become ongoing standard practice in Scotland.

Also see:

Baby in womb

Roe v Wade judgment saves estimated 10,000 lives

Pro-life campaign highlights 21,000 abortions in Ireland

MP calls for ‘Deliveroo-style’ morning after pill service

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