Petition is successful with 308 signatures
To: Ministers Simon Harris and Charlie Flanagan
Introduce remote consultations for abortion during covid-19
During this unprecedented emergency in public health, we must ensure that people can access the healthcare they need, including abortion care. We have contacted the Ministers for Health and Justice, asking them to introduce remote consultations for abortion during this crisis.
We ask the Government to take the following steps at once, in compliance with expert guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:
(1) introduce remote consultations for abortion and pledge not to prosecute any doctor who provides abortion care via remote consultation during this emergency
(2) allow patients to take both abortion medications at home
(3) class travel for abortion as 'essential' during any travel bans that may be imposed during this health emergency
(4) extend free abortion care to residents of Northern Ireland
Why is this important?
Both the Abortion Rights Campaign and the Government want to keep people safe during this emergency. It is in all of our interest to minimise the strain on our healthcare system and to prevent people who are not sick from coming into contact with those who are.
Remote consultation is already in use in Ireland by, for example, VideoDoc and Spectrum Health, and more recently, by individual GPs as they adapt to the current crisis. Providing abortion consultations remotely has proven safe, effective, and acceptable in other jurisdictions.
We urge the Minister for Health to clarify that an in-person visit is not required in order to satisfy the Act and put appropriate protocols in place. We urge the Minister for Justice to assure doctors they will not be prosecuted if they offer medical abortion remotely at this time.
Sign the petition and let the Government know you support those who need to access abortion services, healthcare workers and all those working in the health sector.