A total of 241 women in Cork travelled to the UK for an abortion in 2016 – the second highest number after Dublin (1,175 women). These figures were revealed by Health Minister Simon Harris during the Dáil’s recent two-day debate on repealing the Eighth Amendment. He read into the record the number of people from each county who travelled to the UK for an abortion in 2016.

Here at the Sexual Health Centre we provide a non-judgemental, confidential, non-directive, all options crisis pregnancy service to those who need it. The total number of clients who used our crisis pregnancy service in 2016 was 247, an increase of 51 since 2015.

Our service includes free pregnancy testing – no appointment is necessary; you can drop in anytime between 9am 5pm, Monday through to Friday. We understand this may be a worrying time for you and will do everything we can to put you at ease in a calm and friendly environment so you can feel free to ask any questions you may have. If you are pregnant and not sure where to turn, we can make an appointment for you with one of our crisis pregnancy counsellors for free and confidential support. We respectfully assist women to explore all their options: choosing to continue with the pregnancy; choosing an adoption; or choosing an abortion. We also offer free post-abortion counselling (regardless of whether the abortion is recent or not so recent), along with post-abortion medical check-ups.

Here at the Sexual Health Centre we recognise that the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy is a reality that can be experienced by any woman. It can be experienced by any age group, any social stratum or can happen in any part of the country. In fact Minister Harris noted that more than 1,200 of the women who went to the UK were aged between 30 and 39 and 1,500 were aged between 20 and 29. Another 255 were aged 40 or over. Meanwhile, 10 were girls under the age of 16, while 230 were teenagers. Over half of the women who travelled were married, in a civil partnership or in a relationship. He also referenced the estimated number of women accessing abortion pills online – research has shown a 62pc increase in the number of women from Ireland contacting one online provider over a five-year period, from 548 in 2010 to 1438 in 2015. We at the Sexual Health Centre want to stress how important it is for women who have taken this route to know that they can and should access our services.

We provide a crisis pregnancy service because we understand that women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy may feel distressed and isolated. Knowing that caring, confidential, non-judgemental and non-directive support is available can be vital to them and/or their partners. If you or someone you know wishes to avail of our service please call our information line on 021 427 6676 or email us at info@sexualhealthcentre.com.