If you require abortion information or help, please be careful about fake websites.
The HSE has issued a warning about a bogus website which is imitating the newly launched MyOptions website.
The official MyOptions web page is run by the HSE and provides correct information about abortion services available in the Republic of Ireland.
— Padraig (@PadraigGilmore) January 4, 2019
A freephone line was also established by the HSE with trained professional counsellors on the other end.
You can find the helpline phone number through the MyOptions.ie web page.
However, a bogus MyOptions has surfaced online when users search for the free helpline.
A fake abortion services website has been set up to mimic pro choice services, the HSE has warned.
FAKE URL: https://t.co/koZeQjaRQj
— Ed Fitzgerald – PBP Cork Candidate (@edfitzgeraldpbp) January 4, 2019
The fake site reads: "Call us now and book a free ultrasound if you are thinking about termination and need to know how far pregnant you are and all you need to know to be fully informed.”
It includes an Irish mobile number listed under the contact information and an email address.
The site is linked to an anonymous Facebook page, which began sharing anti-abortion videos in May 2018.
Abortion services will be provided by the HSE, through GPs or family planning services, and in maternity units and hospitals across the country, from today.
Abortion care will be free of charge to people who need it.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) January 1, 2019
A spokesperson for the HSE confirmed that the website isn't linked in anyway to the official MyOptions helpline or website.
“We are aware of a number of websites and ads that are appearing in search results and social media that claim to be providing unplanned pregnancy support services under variations of the myoptions name,” the spokesperson stated.
The spokesperson added that unreliable agencies mightn't be "upfront" about their motivation behind the information they are providing people.
“Some unreliable agencies may not be upfront about their intentions and may try to influence a person’s decision. The HSE recommends that people should only visit a recognised or HSE-funded unplanned pregnancy counselling agency,” they said.
“If people are looking at information online, look for the HSE logo.”
For trusted unplanned pregnancy advice and information on abortion services, go to the HSE's https://t.co/lSnbxT0AKi or call 1800 828 010. All official HSE ads and listings for My Options will mention the HSE, link to our site, or carry the HSE logo. #hsemyoptions pic.twitter.com/zxAPKvuWc4
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) January 3, 2019
They added that the correct freephone number for people seeking information about their options is 1800 828 010.
The HSE has released a number of warning signs that usually means the source you've sought help and information from, is unreliable.
These include extended periods of time between appointments, meeting in public places such as a hotel or car park and a delay in pregnancy test results.
Your results should be provided to you immediately.
If you receive information or leaflets with limited information and it contains negative or frightening language, is another indication.
Lastly it you are shown inappropriate media such as pictures and videos during counselling sessions is a big red flag, as they are used to sway a woman's choice.