Get Help – I’m in Northern Ireland
Since October 2017, anyone resident in Northern Ireland has been able to access free abortion care in England. Those facing financial hardship should be able to access government funding for travel between Northern Ireland and clinics in the UK.
To book your free treatment in England, please call the bpas run Central Booking System: 0333 234 2184.
Help with travel costs will be available if you meet the government’s financial hardship criteria.
How does the government define financial hardship?
While abortions will be free for anyone resident in Northern Ireland, necessary travel and accommodation costs are only available to those who meet financial hardship criteria. This includes women on Income Support, income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit Guarantee and/or have an income of £15,276 or less. Minors and vulnerable adults will be able to obtain funding to have an adult parent, guardian or support person travel with them. The Central Booking System will be able to help you determine if you are eligible.
If for some reason you are not able to access free care in England, or you have extenuating circumstances that mean you cannot afford your travel and do not meet the financial hardship criteria you need to travel for an abortion, Abortion Support Network may be able to offer you:
- Information about the least expensive way to arrange your travel
- Financial assistance towards reasonable travel costs
- Accommodation in volunteer homes (surgical abortion only)
- Information about reputable providers of safe but illegal early medical abortion pills by post. If you are considering ordering abortion pills online, please read this first.
If you are travelling for abortion and want ASN to help with your travel costs, please speak with us before booking your travel. We are not able to send money directly to people, so there would be no way for us to “pay you back” for expenses incurred.
Please call, text or email us to get more information, or discuss your circumstances.
On this page:
- What happens when you contact us
- Advice before you call us
- About the help we offer
- Need to cover your tracks?
What happens when you contact us
- An ASN volunteer will speak with you, or call/email you back. Please leave a voicemail with your contact number if we do not answer the phone.
- Our first question will be if you have contacted the bpas Central Booking System to see if you are eligible for free care in England, and whether or not you meet the requirements to have your travel costs covered by the UK government.
- If you are unable to get help with travel costs, ASN can advice on the least expensive method of travel, including which airlines take less traditional forms of photo ID.
- If you will need help purchasing your travel, please contact us BEFORE you purchase travel as we are not able to send money directly to clients.
- If you require an overnight stay, ASN will arrange for you to stay in the home of a volunteer (England and Holland only) or provide information on inexpensive accommodation. Hosts provide a place to stay, meals while you are with them, and in some cases can bring you to and pick you up from the clinic.
- If you access an abortion after using our service, one of our team may follow up with you 4-6 weeks later to see how things went.
Advice before you call us
- Please call the Central Booking System on 0333 234 2184 to determine if you are eligible for free care in England.
- Please call us before you’ve booked your travel, especially if you are not eligible for a free procedure and do not have enough money to pay for your appointment and flights. We can’t guarantee that we will have enough funds to support everyone who contacts us and it’s important that you arrange the least expensive appointment and travel so we can help the largest number of people.
- If you call us before you book your appointment, we may be able to give information such as which clinics have the lowest fees, and the most cost-effective method of travel from where you are.
- If we agree to provide you with financial help or a place to stay, we will need some information, including your name, how far along you are, and your financial circumstances. Your communication with ASN is non-judgmental and we will not share any of your details other than if we need to arrange funding with a clinic.
- ASN are not healthcare professionals or doctors so we are not able to give medical information or help you make your decision. There are reputable organisations that offer these services on our list of other organisations who may be able to help.
- We will do our best to return all voicemails, texts and emails within two days. However, our helpline is staffed by volunteers and we can’t always answer the phone. If we do not answer, please leave a voicemail with your phone number.
- ASN does not ask gender when communicating with clients; nor does gender identity influence grant eligibility.
About the help we offer
ASN is here to help lessen the financial burden of travelling abroad to get a safe and legal abortion. Funding is available on a case by case basis, depending on your circumstances and availability of funds. We have limited funds but try and help as many women as we can. We expect people to arrange the least expensive method of abortion and travel where possible.
If you need accommodation in England, ASN will do our best to find you one of our volunteer hosts. Hosts provide a place for you to stay in their homes, provide meals and pay local transport costs when you are with them. Our hosts are not able to accommodate children, nor are children allowed at clinics, so you will need to arrange childcare if necessary. Accommodation is only available for those having surgical abortion. We also have a relationship with a group in Holland that provides similar assistance.
If you are staying the night after your procedure, a host will collect you from the clinic, and take you to their home. When staying the night before a procedure, they will arrange to meet you at a convenient location between the airport and their home. All Abortion Support Network volunteers are carefully screened and trained and believe in a woman’s right to have an abortion.
You can find out more about the services we offer to those in Northern Ireland in our NI FAQ.
Need to cover your tracks?
If you think someone is monitoring your internet usage, your safest option is to access the internet from a neutral place such as a friend’s house, your work, an internet cafe or local library.
If you don’t want anyone to know that you have visited this (or any) website, you can delete your browser web history or use Private Browsing mode, which does not store any web history. You may also want to delete your search history from Google, or use DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t track you.
Be aware that the owner or administrator of the computer may still be able to monitor websites you visit.
If you want to email us without leaving a copy in your Sent folder, use the form on our Contact Us page. Please make sure to include your email address and/or phone number.
If you have an itemised bill the phone number will show, but not the name of our organisation. If you need to hide the fact that you’ve called one of our numbers, then consider using an international calling service or a calling card.