Coombe to begin full abortion services from February 4th

Number of GPs signing up to provide abortion care has increased

 The Coombe is the only one of the three Dublin maternity hospitals that has not yet started taking full referrals for women seeking abortions. Photograph: Dave Meehan / The Irish Times

The Coombe is the only one of the three Dublin maternity hospitals that has not yet started taking full referrals for women seeking abortions. Photograph: Dave Meehan / The Irish Times

 

The Coombe Hospital in Dublin is expected to begin providing full abortion services from February 4th.

It is understood that the hospital told the HSE of its plans in recent days. A source in the hospital confirmed it would expand to provide full services “very soon”.

The Coombe is the only one of the three Dublin maternity hospitals that has not yet started taking full referrals for women seeking abortions.

The Department of Health said on Thursday the hospital was providing care to pregnant women who were given a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality.

“The Department has been advised that the Coombe Hospital is currently providing terminations in emergency situations and in cases of fatal foetal abnormality,” a spokesman said.

In a statement issued on December 31st, a day before the legislation came into force, the hospital said it was fully committed to providing abortion services under new legislation.

“To ensure the provision of safe, high quality, sensitive and compassionate care to women, these services will be provided when the board and management of the hospital are satisfied that the necessary resources have been put in place.

“In this context, these services will not be available on 1st January, 2019.”

Nine hospitals currently provide full abortion services, while the rest of the State’s 19 maternity hospitals provide some level of abortion care. The number of GPs signed up to provide abortion care increased to 236 this week.