Since January 2019, abortion care has been available in Ireland on a woman’s request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Most women were provided with medical abortion, using mifepristone and misoprostol. The model of care required two face-to-face visits to a doctor, three days apart. The mifepristone tablet was taken with the doctor present and the misoprostol at home 24 to 48 hours later.
In April 2020, the Health & Safety Executive issued a revised model of care in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This model aims to keep face-to-face visits to a minimum while complying with the law and ensuring patient safety. Most women now have their two medical appointments remotely, only coming to the clinic to collect their Home Care Pack containing the abortion medications and information materials.
New online videos
To support women and girls during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) launched a series of videos to assist women who need abortion care. Getting health care over the phone is new to most people. They want their clients to be at ease when they speak to the doctor and to be well-prepared and comfortable about managing an abortion at home. So they have created some videos and new information materials.
The videos can be viewed on their website at https://www.ifpa.ie/get-care/step-by-step-guide/ or on YouTube at a convenient time and place. They have also expanded the abortion care section of their website with additional information. Women can download their medical abortion leaflets in eight languages.
Videos on YouTube
The new Home Care Pack has a check-list, a set of easy to understand steps, and a space to write in the dates and times to take the medication. The medications are colour-coded. The guide includes contact numbers for their clinics and the 24-hour My Options helpline.
Website translation function
They have added a translation function to their website that is supposed to be 85% accurate. They would really appreciate feedback on whether the information is clear and understandable in other languages.
SOURCE: E-mail from Maeve Taylor, Director of Advocacy and Communications, Irish Family Planning Association, 6 May 2020