The Belfast Court has just given a 21 year-old woman a three-month suspended prison sentence for purchasing abortion pills on the Internet.
The young woman, who was 19 at the time, did not have enough money to travel to England for an abortion. She finally purchased abortion pills on the Internet on the advice of an English clinic and terminated her pregnancy at home. Her flatmates reported her after finding the “ten to twelve week-old foetus” in a communal rubbish bin.
Although authorised in the United Kingdom since 1967, abortion remains illegal in Northern Ireland under the 1861 “Offences against the Person Act”, which can lead to a life sentence unless the mother’s life is in jeopardy.
Although the legislation is no longer applied to the letter and its interpretation has been “liberalised” since last month, the Act remains in force.
Le Monde (06/04/2016), Libération (05/04/2016)