A number of websites claiming to provide unplanned pregnancy support services are mimicking the HSE’s My Options service, it has emerged.
The health authority’s website, MyOptions.ie, 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.
“We are aware of a number of websites and advertisements that are appearing in search results and social media that claim to be providing unplanned pregnancy support services under variations of the MyOptions name,” stated the HSE.
The HSE is concerned that some of the rogue agencies implicated in the deception yesterday may have a hidden agenda.
“Some unreliable agencies may not be upfront about their intentions and may try to influence a person’s decision,” said the HSE.
It urged people to watch out for signs that an agency may not be reputable, including a requirement to wait a long time between appointments and only meeting in public places such as hotels or car parks.
Other signs of a rogue crisis pregnancy agency include delay in giving pregnancy test results (these should be given immediately), and literature that does not include all options available, and the use of negative or frightening language.
The HSE recommended that people only visit a recognised or HSE-funded unplanned pregnancy counselling agency and to look for the HSE logo when seeking information online.
Information on reputable, HSE-funded unplanned pregnancy counselling services is available here and 1800 828 010.