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To: HSE Ireland
Call on the HSE to provide locally accessible abortion services in Co. Sligo
SARRA are calling on the HSE to announce a date for the provision of locally accessible abortion services through the public health system in Co. Sligo.
Why is this important?
County Sligo remains as one of two counties in Ireland that still has no abortion services over one year on from the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment to the Constitution and nine months after abortion services have been made available nationally.
Sligo-based group SARRA (Sligo Action for Reproductive Rights Access) held a public information stall in O’Connell St., Sligo, on Saturday, 28 September, to thank the people of Co. Sligo for having voted to repeal the 8th amendment but to point out that women in Co. Sligo (and Co Carlow) had been let down by the HSE, which is responsible for making abortion services available through the local health services.
SARRA has launched a public petition to the HSE calling on it to announce a date for the provision of locally accessible abortion services through the public health system in Co. Sligo, with prompt follow-through on its responsibilities.
The group say they have made extensive enquiries with health service structures locally and nationally and still have not been given any details of a date or plan to provide publicly accessible services in Sligo University Hospital or through local GPs. A spokesperson for SARRA, Peigin Doyle, said:
“At present, women in Sligo have to travel a round trip of up to 100 km, to Donegal or Roscommon, to access a GP who will give them the medical care they need. These women need to make an initial visit to a doctor followed by another visit three days later and will possibly need to make another visit for a scan if required. That journey may have to be made three times within a short period, often under great stress. This is an unfair and unrealistic burden to place on Sligo women, especially those who live in rural areas without public transport services or who cannot afford a car or time to travel. This is not what people in Sligo, or nationally, voted for. Women in Co. Sligo deserve – and need – better than this, and they need it now.
“We appeal to local GPs to respond to the needs of women in Sligo by providing the full range of reproductive health services and joining the HSE MyOptions system. We urge the HSE to train and support medical professionals in providing an accessible service at community level and establish the necessary services in Sligo University Hospital.”
SARRA can be found on Facebook/Sligo Action for Reproductive Rights Access and twitter @SARRASligo
The My Options phone line is open from 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturdays on 1800 828 010 (00 353 1 6877044 if calling from Northern Ireland). The online address is www.myoptions.ie