Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Ceisteanna (31)

Clare Daly


31. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the status of the accessibility of termination of pregnancy services including the availability of information materials in different languages and the accessibility of My Options for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11791/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE’s MyOptions service is a free unplanned pregnancy support service for support and information about an unplanned pregnancy.

MyOptions offers non-directive, free counselling and information for people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Information is available about all options, including continued pregnancy supports and abortion services.  

The MyOptions phone line is now providing information and support in over 240 languages through a free and confidential telephone interpretation service. This service is open from 9am to 9pm from Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm on Saturday.

When an interpretation service is required, MyOptions arrange for an interpreter to phone a caller back for a three way conversation between the person, a MyOptions counsellor and an interpreter where the interpreter will help the client to speak to a MyOptions counsellor in their own language. This service is free and confidential.

Work is on-going to progress the translation of the MyOptions campaign material into languages specific to women from ethnic minority communities. The translated resource materials will be available from the end of May 2019.

MyOptions also supports Irish Sign Language users with their calls to MyOptions by providing a live video-link to an Irish Sign Language interpreter. Irish Sign Language users can book an appointment with IRIS online. This service is free of charge.

Work has commenced on the introduction of a live chat service on and is due to become operational in May 2019.

The MyOptions public awareness campaign is also running across national radio, posters and social media to ensure that those who need the service are aware of the correct details and telephone number.

Question No. 32 answered orally.