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Get Help – I’m in Northern Ireland

Since abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland in 2020 many women and pregnant people have been able to access care at home, but many are still forced to travel. 

For more information on abortion care in Northern Ireland, please visit NI Direct: Abortion services | nidirect 

Accessing Abortion in Northern Ireland

There are two types of abortion, Medical and Surgical.

Early Medical Abortion up to 12 weeks 

This involves taking two types of medication, usually 24-48 hours apart to terminate your pregnancy and is available at all 5 Health and Social Care Trusts. You will take the first tablet at your appointment in clinic then take the second tablets at home. 

Surgical Abortion 

This involves a minor procedure to remove the pregnancy. Up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, this will be carried out in your local clinic and you will be able to go home the same day. 

Currently there is a regional service that can provide surgical abortion up to 20 weeks in Northern Ireland, which means you may have to travel outside your own local area but you should be able to travel home on the same day as your treatment. 

If you are over 12 weeks pregnant, you will be seen for a consultation at your own Trust then referred to the regional service for further consultation and treatment. 

Surgical abortion up to 24 weeks has not yet been established but work is ongoing to implement this soon. If you are need an abortion between 20 and 24 weeks of pregnancy, you will likely have to travel to Britain for care. If this is the case, you will not have to pay for travel, accommodation, or the cost of your treatment (see below).  

Accessing abortion in Northern Ireland

To get abortion care in Northern Ireland, you must contact the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) which offers advice, counselling and access to abortion services. 

BPAS is the only access point to abortion in Northern Ireland.  You will not be able to self-refer or get a referral from your GP.  

After you contact BPAS, they will send a referral to your nearest Health & Social Care Trust who will contact you within 5 working days to have a phone consultation with you and arrange an appointment.  

Safe Access Zones in Northern Ireland

If you are worried about attending your appointment, be reassured that you will be treated with dignity and respect  by staff and like all healthcare, will be completely confidential. 

Safe Access Zones have been introduced to ensure that you can attend your appointment free of harassment from anti choice protestors. The safe access zones cover all 5 Health and Social Care Trusts. The zones are: 

  • Southern Trust – Craigavon Area Hospital – 100m 
  • Southern Trust – Daisy Hill Hospital – 130m 
  • Belfast Trust – College Street – 130m 
  • Belfast Trust – Bradbury Wellbeing and Treatment Centre – 150m 
  • Northern Trust – Causeway Hospital – 100m 
  • Western Trust – Altnagelvin Hospital – 100m 
  • South Eastern Trust – Lagan Valley Hospital – 100m 
  • South Eastern Trust – Ulster Hospital – 100m 

What happens if I need to travel to Great Britain for an abortion? 

If you need to access abortion care in Great Britain, you will not have to pay for travel, accommodation or the cost of your treatment. You will need to speak to BPAS about this when you make your initial contact and they will arrange this for you. 

Need more help?

If you are told you need to travel and that you are ineligible for NHS funding, please contact us and we will see if we are able to provide support.  

Alliance for Choice in Northern Ireland are expert in helping people navigate the NI system. 

Informing Choices NI are a free and non judgemental service who can support you with advice and counselling. You can self-refer by calling 02890 316100 

Contact ASN

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. This way we can advise on the most cost-effective travel arrangements, which will help us provide services to the largest number of people. 

We will do our best to return all voicemails, texts and emails within two days. 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 clients how they got pregnant or why they want abortions. Our only criteria are financial need and how much funding we have available. 

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