Activists stand in solidarity with woman arrested in Northern Ireland

Activists stand in solidarity with woman arrested in Northern Ireland
A Northern Irish woman is to stand trial accused of attempting to bring about an abortion

A 21-year-old woman from County Down, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faces two charges; one of attempting to terminate her own pregnancy and one of aiding someone else to “miscarry”.

The offences are alleged to have taken place during June and July 2014.

The woman appeared at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday for a preliminary enquiry.

The judge confirmed that she has a case to answer and released the defendant on bail.

Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland except in very strictly defined instances where it is deemed the mother’s life is in imminent danger.

Under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, the defendant stands accused of “unlawfully administering to herself noxious substances, namely the drugs Mifepristone and Misoprostol, with the intent to procure miscarriage” and to a second party.

On 30 November 2015, a Belfast High Court judge ruled NI’s abortion ban was “incompatible with human rights” but admitted he was very doubtful Stormont MLAs would meet their obligation to amend the law.


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