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15.40 15 Jun 2016


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A number of pro-choice groups are planning to fly a drone carrying abortion pills between Ireland and Northern Ireland next week.

The event is taking place next Tuesday, 21st June, and is being organised by the Alliance for Choice, Rosa, Labour Alternative and Women on Waves.

The drone will take off in Co Louth at around 10am.

Organisers say the flight is "an all-island act of solidarity between women in the north and the south to highlight the violation of human rights caused by the existing laws that criminalize abortion in both the north and south of Ireland except in very limited circumstances".

The groups say legislation in both countries allows for the pills to be flown lawfully between the two jurisdictions.

Following the arrival of the drone in the North, a protest is being planned outside the Court of Appeal in Belfast.

The court is to hear an appeal regarding the decision by Northern Ireland's High Court that the country's abortion law breaches the European Convention on Human Rights.

In a statement, the groups organising the drone flight say: "The Abortion drone will mark the different reality for Irish women to access safe abortion services compared to women in other European countries where abortion is legal".

The planned protest comes as Enda Kenny said the Government here will start setting up a Citizens' Assembly next week to look at the 8th Amendment, which ensures the protection of the unborn.

The Children's Minister Katherine Zappone says the end of 2017 is a "realistic" date for a vote on abortion.

Last week, the United Nations Human Rights Committee called for our constitutional ban on abortion to be scrapped, as it subjects women to suffering and discrimination.


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