Email your MP: Drop case against mother who provided daughter with abortion medication in Northern Ireland

Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland except in extremely rare situations. 837 women from N.Ireland travelled to England in 2014 to have a safe, legal abortion. Others bought medication from the internet in order to induce an abortion at home.

A woman is currently being charged under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act for purchasing abortion medication on behalf of her daughter. If found guilty she could be imprisoned for up to five years.

We are calling on the authorities to drop all charges against the mother who provided her daughter with this medication; and to call off prosecutions of those who use the pills or help women to access them.


By prosecuting those who use or provide pills the authorities are targeting the most vulnerable women who cannot travel e.g. those who because of their age, lack of money, lack of support, violent partner, or immigration status are unable to travel.

Using the law to prevent women using abortion medication causes risks — making doctors prioritise the reporting of women, rather than providing them with any care they need; and potentially deterring women from seeking medical advice for fear of prosecution.

Please sign now to email your MP asking what they will do to put pressure on the Northern Ireland authorities to drop the case against this woman, and anybody, who procures or takes abortion medication.

Women living in England, Scotland and Wales can access abortion for free and do not need to seek out or pay for clandestine services or medication. It is time that women in Northern Ireland were provided with equal access to abortion.

More information about medical abortions.
Dear [MP],

A woman is currently being charged in Northern Ireland under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act for purchasing abortion medication on behalf of her daughter. If found guilty she could be imprisoned for up to five years. Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland except in extremely rare situations. 837 women from N.Ireland travelled to England in 2014 to have a safe, legal abortion. Others bought medication from the internet in order to induce an abortion at home. Alliance for Choice and Voice for Choice — coalitions of pro–choice organisations in the UK — are calling on the Northern Ireland authorities to drop all charges against the mother who provided her daughter with this medication; and to call off prosecutions of those who use the pills or help women to access them.

By prosecuting those who use or provide pills the authorities are targeting the most vulnerable women who cannot travel e.g. those who because of their age, lack of money, lack of support, violent partner, or immigration status are unable to travel. Using the law to prevent women using abortion medication causes risks — making doctors prioritise the reporting of women, rather than providing them with any care they need; and may deter women from seeking medical advice for fear of prosecution.

Women living in England, Scotland and Wales can access abortion free and do not need to seek out or pay for clandestine services or medication. It is time that women in Northern Ireland were provided with equal access to abortion. The UN CEDAW committee included the following in its 2008 concluding observations (at Section 289): "In line with its general recommendation No. 24 on women and health and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Committee urges the State party to give consideration to amending the abortion law so as to remove punitive provisions imposed on women who undergo abortion. "

And in 2013 the committee said: " Recalling its previous recommendation, the Committee reiterates that, in line with its general recommendation No. 24, on women and health, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the State party should expedite the amendment of the anti-abortion law in Northern Ireland with a view to decriminalizing abortion." (Concluding Observations regarding the United Kingdom, 30th July 2013, at §51). You may find this briefing paper about medical abortions helpful: http://vfc.org.uk/medical-abortion-fact-check/.

[Your comment].

Please will you add your name to the Care2 petition? http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/716/597/066/ And please let me know what you will do to put pressure on the Northern Ireland authorities to drop the case against this woman, and anybody, who procures or takes abortion medication.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
[Your address]
[Your email]
Update #17 months ago
Excellent news from the Court: leave to bring a Judicial Review of the prosecution has been granted to the mother charged with getting "poison" (i.e. abortion pills which are on the World Health Organisation's list of essential medicines) to help her pregnant teenage daughter. Please help spread the word of this important challenge to an unjust law by sharing this funding page far and wide.

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