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26th Apr 2023

Taoiseach says the amount of hospitals offering abortion services is “not good enough”

“The HSE will be working on that.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that the number of hospitals in Ireland that offer abortion services is “not good enough”.

Five years after the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment, only 11 hospitals across the country are providing abortion services.

Varadkar has now warned that the debate on a review into abortion services can’t become “too personalised”. The review is set to be published today.

Cabinet agreed on Tuesday that a report by barrister Marie O’Shea into existing abortion legislation should be published.

This is set to recommend the removal of the three day wait period for an abortion.

Speaking in the Dáil, Varadkar said that the report shows there are “gaps in the service”.

He also noted that the number of hospitals that provide these services is “not good enough”.

According to The Mirror, Varadkar said: “There are 400 GP practices that provide abortion services in Ireland. That is not a small number. More than 8,000 abortions were performed in Ireland last year, which is not a small number either.

“There are some gaps in some regions, however, and we need to encourage GPs in those regions to provide the service. The HSE will be working on that.

“There are 19 hospitals in Ireland that provide obstetric and gynaecological services. Only 11 provide surgical terminations.”

He has added that work is set to be done to ensure that abortion is available in all of Ireland’s 19 hospitals by the end 0f 2023.

Photo: Leah Farrell/

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