Abortion is a medical intervention through which a pregnancy is ended. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘termination of a pregnancy’.
A new legal framework for abortion services in Northern Ireland was introduced, by regulation, by the UK Government on 25 March 2020.
Who can access abortion?
The Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020 allow access to abortions up to 12 weeks gestation (11 weeks + 6 days), without conditionality with both medical abortion (Tablets) and surgical procedure (Vacuum Aspiration) being offered up to 11+6 gestation (weeks of pregnancy).
Abortions beyond 12 weeks’ gestation are lawful in specified instances, including when severe fetal impairment and fatal fetal abnormalities are detected.
All abortion requests and referrals to come through the central access point, currently the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) on: 03457 30 40 30.
BPAS will signpost you to the appropriate professional in the Trust who will contact you within five working days.
Abortion services in the Southern Trust have Safe Access Zones protected in law for clients using this service.
More information on Abortion Services can be found Abortion services.
Safe Access Zones
Safe Access Zones have been introduced at Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital from Friday 29 September 2023.
The Zones include the protected premises where these services are provided (Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital), as well as adjoining public space between 100m from the entrances and exits of Craigavon Area Hospital and 130m from the entrances and exits of Daisy Hill Hospital.
Safe Access Zones are being established under NI Assembly legislation to protect women and girls accessing abortion services, information, advice and counselling, and protect staff working at these locations. It will be illegal for them to be impeded, recorded, influenced or to be caused harassment, alarm or distress within the Zones.
- OSNI map detailing locations for the Safe Access Zones