Northern Ireland: Amnesty welcomes legal challenge to latest abortion prosecution
‘In the absence of political will, we once again look to the courts to remedy the wrongs created by our abortion laws’
Amnesty International has welcomed a decision by a Belfast court today to grant leave for a judicial review into the decision of the public prosecution service to prosecute a mother who procured abortion pills for her daughter.
Grainne Teggart, Northern Ireland Campaign Manager of Amnesty International said:
“We welcome the decision of the court to grant leave to challenge the decision to prosecute a mother for procuring abortion pills for her daughter – she is not a criminal, her daughter is not a criminal. Abortion is a healthcare and human rights issue and the law must stop treating Northern Ireland women who need abortions as criminals.
“It is wrong that the mother has been treated like a common criminal for attempting to help her daughter by sourcing medication, which is prescribed free on the NHS in every other part of the UK.
“This case highlights, yet again, that making abortion illegal does not stop women in Northern Ireland needing or seeking terminations. In the absence of a government and a legislature willing to deal with such matters, we once again look to the courts to remedy the wrongs created by our abortion laws.”
Medicated abortion pills are internationally regarded as a safe and recommended option for terminating a pregnancy in the first trimester. Mifepristone and Misoprostol are on the list of essential medicines of the World Health Organisation. However, the criminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland means that women and girls take these pills without effective medical supervision, therefore potentially resulting in serious health complications.