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MyOptions

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.

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. 

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.

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.”

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. 

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The helpline which was set up by the HSE to offer information on unplanned pregnancies to women was reportedly "busy but not overwhelmed" on it's first day yesterday.

The HSE set up the MyOptions helpline in order to act as the main referral path for women seeking abortion services.

On the first day of operation services available nationwide, 20 women sought an abortion according to GPs who have agreed to carry out the services.

The exact level of demand will not be known yet for another number of weeks.

The Irish Times reports that it will be next week at least until the first terminations can be carried out, as a result of the three-day 'cooling-off' period.

The first cases which were referred to doctors ranged from upwards of four weeks' gestation.

In terms of cases which are close to the 12-week limit, they will be facilitated with same-day appointments at the nearest maternity unit.

The flow of Irish women who are travelling to the UK for abortion services is expected to continue, though at a reduced level, as abortions over 12 weeks are not permitted under Irish law except under highly limited circumstances.

The Minister for Health will be notified of the amount of terminations performed within 28 days. 

A number of minor teething issues have arisen involving blood testing procedures and ultrasound provision.

Simon Harris has said;

“The level of preparedness varies, but the initial experience with the HSE’s helpline has been very positive."

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