Abortion in Northern Ireland – level 3
Three women hand themselves into police in Derry for taking delivery of abortion pills to pass onto other women too afraid to have them delivered to their own homes.
The campaigners were protesting against Northern Ireland’s strict abortion law, which only permits terminations if a woman’s life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health. The women, who are members of a group called Choice Alliance in Derry, say the law should be the same as in the rest of the UK.
“We’re feeling very angry that it’s illegal. That’s why we’re feeling very angry that women are placed in this situation. That women who can afford to travel to England can have a legal abortion. Women who can’t afford to travel can only access 9-week abortion pills, 60 pounds. We’re very angry about that, we’re very angry that women are being criminalised.”
A proposal to legalise abortion was defeated in the Northern Ireland Assembly earlier this year. And just last month, a 21-year-old woman was given a suspended sentence after she induced miscarriage using drugs she bought online.
Difficult words: termination (an abortion), permanent (endless, lifelong), suspended sentence (a type of punishment when you do not go to prison if you stop doing something illegal), induce (to cause), miscarriage (when a mother’s body makes the baby leave the body too early).
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