A Prayer Protest was held at the gates of Cavan General Hospital last January against the prospect of abortions being carried out locally. Photo: Sean McMahon.

Q4 start time for terminations at CGH

Termination of pregnancy services will be provided at Cavan General, one of the last two remaining hospitals currently not providing abortions, before the end of this year.

The HSE has confirmed to The Anglo-Celt that recruitment “has taken place” and safe abortion services for pregnancies under 12 weeks will be provided in Cavan and also in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, from Q4 2024 onwards.

Currently, only 17 of 19 maternity hospitals are providing early termination of pregnancy (TOP) services. The hospitals in Cavan and Clonmel remain outliers, but according to the HSE this will soon change.

A HSE spokesperson informed this newspaper: “The HSE is committed to the provision of a high quality and safe abortion service and will continue to work to support and enhance the service, and ensure it remains an important, integrated part of women’s healthcare.

“Currently 17 maternity hospitals are providing early termination of pregnancy services. Recruitment has taken place in the remaining two hospitals, Cavan and Clonmel, and service is due to commence in both hospitals in Q4 2024.”

The HSE spokesperson added that all maternity units provide care for women with a complication following TOP, and where there is a risk to life or health of the woman.

Eighteen of the nineteen sites are at present providing TOP under Section 11 of the Act i.e. where a condition presents that is likely to lead to the death of the foetus.

All sites also provide services relating to managing complications arising from termination; appropriate care and supervision for women following a diagnosis of fatal fetal abnormality, and referral to the appropriate tertiary unit; as well as care and supervision in cases where maternal health/life is at risk. Back in January a 'prayer protest' took place at the entrance to Cavan General Hospital.

The event was held by members of the Choose Life Cavan branch, with the aim of highlighting to Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly; local politicians and HSE management; that the group objects “vehemently” to the proposed plan to introduce TOP services locally.