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UK woman convicted of abortion

(595 Posts)
Veterinari Tue 05-Apr-16 11:07:04

Full story here

Very sad. Is there a will in NI to update legislation on this issue? As it stands everyone loses

rattata Tue 05-Apr-16 16:50:28

There is no will among politicians to change the situation. In the last Labour government I think Diane Abbot tried to bring a revision in the law to bring it into line with the rest of UK but Labour dumped it before it got to Parliament as they wanted Unionist MP's votes (if I remember rightly).

I hope the young girls flatmates feel some shame one day for what they have put her through by contacting the Police. Imagine doing that when your friend needed compassion and support. It must be appalling for her, especially in a place like NI where everyone always seems to know your business. I hope she can leave and live a better, freer life elsewhere.

JacobFryesTopHatLackey Tue 05-Apr-16 16:58:29

Its absolutely appalling.

Here's a link to the abortion support networks latest just giving fundraiser Cover her costs campaign

Apparently that awful Bernie Smyth woman is lobbying for the woman to receive a stronger, custodial sentence.

Badders123 Tue 05-Apr-16 17:08:07

People vilifying trump in the US for his abhorrent views on women and their reproductive rights and yet in our own country this is actually happening!
I am ashamed.

sparechange Tue 05-Apr-16 17:14:17

As someone on the justgiving page said... "There but for a different postcode"
Disgusting and shaming on the UK as a nation.

faintlyoptimistic Tue 05-Apr-16 17:19:56

It's awful.

I left NI as soon as I could but I distinctly remember, age 15, before ever even having had sex, planning what I would do if I ever fell pregnant. I knew where I would go, who I would ask to go with me and how I would travel.

I am utterly appalled that this is still allowed to happen. That poor, poor girl.

Canyouforgiveher Tue 05-Apr-16 17:20:45

People vilifying trump in the US for his abhorrent views on women and their reproductive rights and yet in our own country this is actually happening!

I thought the exact same thing. I live in the US but am from Ireland (and her lack of access to abortion, if not her prosecution, is as much an Irish problem as an NI/UK problem in my opinion) and thought how Trump was vilified in US and UK press for saying what he said although legal historians say that even when the US criminalised abortion, there were almost zero (2 I think in total nationwide ever) cases of the law being used to punish women. And this happens in the UK. I hope some lawyers step forward to take this forward for her. She should not have a criminal record for this.

I presume her flatmates didn't know what had actually happened when they called the police and were worried. but the prosecution service that decided to prosecute her are despicable, absolutely vile, horrible people who should be fired - at best.

SuburbanRhonda Tue 05-Apr-16 17:57:52

Fantastic that the fundraising page to cover her costs has raised 174% of the target amount.

sparechange Tue 05-Apr-16 18:08:24


Sadly, the flat mates knew exactly what they were doing when they called the police sad
It has been reported that they did so because they were shocked at how 'callous' and matter of fact she was when she told them she had procured and taken the pills.

Total scumbags

TheCraicDealer Tue 05-Apr-16 18:13:06

If I remember rightly she'd only just moved in with the flat mates, they weren't 'mates' really but she told them she was pregnant and that she was trying to get the money together to go to England. So I guess when they found what they found they put two and two together and reported it.

I'll never forget working on the cash in Belfast as a student and a girl (also st uni) coming in speaking to a colleague wanting to get a credit card or overdraft to pay to get to England. Unfortunately it was a case of 'computer says no' and she couldn't sort her out wth anything. Poor girl was in tears, there was a lot of sympathy for her. This was 2008 and I still think of her.

Having said that, there's a lot of support for the pro-life movement amongst young people, especially in rural areas. The attitudes of young RC or fundamentalist Protestant women can be fucking backward. Some find it very difficult to put themselves in a position outside their own very restrictive 'bubbles' (which they're in through choice) lwhere you wait until marriage and your role as a mother and cater is considered the the biggest contribution you could make to society.

Dellarobia Tue 05-Apr-16 18:14:00

petition here

faintlyoptimistic Tue 05-Apr-16 18:46:50


Presumably that won't have any influence in NI though.

TheCraicDealer You are spot on about the support for the pro-life movement amongst the young in particular. I have been away for nearly 18 years and find myself regularly shocked by some of the attitudes I come across when I go back.

veryproudvolleyballmum Tue 05-Apr-16 18:49:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badders123 Tue 05-Apr-16 19:00:26

This makes me so fucking angry.
My grandmother had 17 kids
Killed her in the end, of course. Her body just wore out.
My dads cousin - dead on the kitchen floor alone and in agony aged 17 after a back street abortion.
How force women into becoming mothers against their wishes.
I want no part of a society that bets on how much women can love under duress.
Are we all still paying for Eves sin according to these knuckle dragging morons?

veryproudvolleyballmum Tue 05-Apr-16 19:04:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Tue 05-Apr-16 21:43:27

It's so sad. These poor desperate women never want an abortion. They never wanted to be pregnant in the first instance. No one can hurt them anymore by locking them up.
Yes people could argue, but they should use contraception, but in some cultures/religions it's frowned upon, also even the highest and most fool proof protection can fail.
Also unless I missed something when learning about the birds and the bees. Women don't get pregnant on their own, so It naturally and rightfully begs the question. Are the fathers going to be prosecuted, too.

diddl Tue 05-Apr-16 21:57:57

What a horrible state of affairs.

The flatmates found the foetus in the bin??

LiquidCosh Tue 05-Apr-16 22:31:45

I can't imagine there would have been much for them to finddiddl , she was only around 10 weeks pregnant
Fucking shameful
That Bernie woman needs to realise that hers is the minority view. I really hope that amnesty international provide her with a top lawyer to appeal.

cdtaylornats Wed 06-Apr-16 21:36:30

You realise the law she was convicted on is UK wide don't you?

County Durham for example

diddl Thu 07-Apr-16 08:23:10

I would have thought also in that case because of being over the 24 wks, the prison sentance was given.

In the case of the woman from Belfast, there is no option of an abortion before 24wks, only in very limited circs which she doubtless didn't qualify for.

I think in England there still has to be a "reason" for an abortion doesn't there?

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Apr-16 13:58:32

What I would like to know is why was it 'in the public interest' to prosecute?

I do not think this will act as a 'deterrent' to anyone in a similar position. In fact I think its positively dangerous as any women who has medical complications as a result of an abortion like this, is less likely to seek medical attention. Buying drugs off the internet is not a good thing, but women who are desperate are not left with many options due to the law and that should be part of the consideration.

Just because the law is there, it does not necessarily mean it is right to use it.

That aspect of it, makes it even more disgusting to me. Some one has gone, that prosecuting this woman has a value to our society as a whole.

The ones who should have their heads in shame are the politicians, the religious leaders, the flat mates and the police. Not the woman in question.

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Apr-16 14:00:56

Oh and any woman who does a DIY abortions at 32 weeks needs mental health support not locking up in a prison cell.

Which says it all about mental health understanding and provision for pregnant women tbh.

Roseberrry Thu 07-Apr-16 14:03:54

There might be the same law here but it hardly affects anyone as every woman has access to an abortion clinic so they need never try and do it themselves. You need a reason but your reason could simply be 'I don't want this baby' and if you are early enough you will get it.

What's happened to this woman is disgusting. She wouldn't have had to do it herself if she had access to the right care and support.

Veterinari Thu 07-Apr-16 14:08:24

IT seems to me that laws like this are lose-lose - how can this be in the public interest?!?

diddl Thu 07-Apr-16 14:51:40

"There might be the same law here but it hardly affects anyone as every woman has access to an abortion clinic"

Well that's the whole thing in a nutshell, isn't it?

The only option isn't legal!

And I agree a DIY abortion at 32 wks where abortion is legal & accessible is just in a whole different league!

(I was born at 30wks!)

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