County Sligo remains one of two counties in Ireland that still has no abortion services over one year on from the referendum to repeal the 8th amendment to the Constitution.
Nine months after abortion services have been made available nationally Sligo and Carlow are the only two counties without GP or hospital abortion services.
SARRA (Sligo Action for Reproductive Rights Access) has launched a public petition to the HSE calling on it to announce a date for the provision of locally accessible abortion services through the public health system in Co. Sligo.
The Sligo-based group held a public information stall in O’Connell St., Sligo, on Saturday, 28 September, to point out that women in Co. Sligo still don’t have local access to abortion services through the county’s local health services.
The group say they have made extensive enquiries with health service structures locally and nationally and still have not been given any details of a date or plan to provide publicly accessible services in Sligo University Hospital or through local GPs.
A spokesperson for SARRA, Peigin Doyle, said at present, women in Sligo have to travel a round trip of up to 100 km, to Donegal or Roscommon, to access a GP who will give them the medical care they need.
She highlighted concerns about Sligo women who live in rural areas without public transport services or who cannot afford a car or time to travel.
SARRA have appealed to local GPs in Sligo to provide abortion services and to join the HSE MyOptions system.
The organization urges the HSE to train and support medical professionals in providing an accessible service at community level and establish the necessary services in Sligo University Hospital.