Newstalk
Newstalk

14.35 31 May 2018


Share this article


Police have confiscated abortion pills from campaigners at a protest in Belfast.

A number of women swallowed the pills after the PSNI intervened.

It is illegal to take abortion pills in the North - except in circumstances where the mother's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

The pills were delivered to the campaigners outside Belfast Crown Court by an 'abortion robot' operated from within the Netherlands.

The campaigners said the pills could be delivered without breaking the law because abortion is legal in the Netherlands.

Police have questioned the women but they have not been arrested. Under Northern Irish law, the act of taking the pills carries a potential life sentence.

The robot has also been confiscated. 

The campaign is being spearheaded by a number of groups including the Dutch group Women on Waves and ROSA Northern Ireland in an effort to call attention to the "restrictive abortion laws and the prosecution of women in Northern Ireland."

The groups have admitted that pregnant women would be breaking the law by taking the pills.

However the women who took the pills outside the courthouse refused to disclose their identity or whether they were pregnant.

The campaigners warned that "this is a matter of patient confidentiality and forcing women to undergo a pregnancy test would be a severe violation of their human rights."

Reform

The campaign has been bolstered by last week's historic 'Yes' vote in the Eighth Amendment Referendum. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May has come under pressure to reform the strict abortion laws in the region - in the absence of a devolved Government at Stormont.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has noted that women from the North will be entitled to access abortion in the South once the new laws are in place.

Northern Irish citizens can already access healthcare across the border.

Bus4Choice

The group is holding protests across Northern Ireland on Thursday.

The campaign will see the Bus4Choice travelling throughout the region and offering abortion counselling and ultrasounds.

The bus will complete its journey in Derry, where it will park near Guildhall Square.


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Tom Dunne Show

The Tom Dunne Show

21:00-23:00

Share

Up next

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

23:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-21:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

21:00-23:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on