Ireland: Belfast council votes against prosecution of pills online

Ireland: Belfast council votes against prosecution of pills online

The council believes that abortion should be regulated like any other medical care and not by criminal law.

A mother in Northern Ireland will face prosecution next month in a court in Belfast. She will be tried on grounds that she procured abortion pills on the internet for her 15 – year- old daughter after the child was raped by unknown men.

Cases like these are common in the Belfast council, where women are been arrested and taken to court for procuring abortion bills online. The situation has become disturbing to the councilors who have taken a bold step to put an end to the practice by passing a motion condemning the arrest and attempted prosecution in the region.

The proposal was put to the council by two city councilors, Sinn Fein’s Mary Ellen Campbell and the Alliance party’s Kate Nicholl with the backing of Amnesty International and Family Planning Associations.

One of the councilors, Nicholl said she proposed the motion because “prohibition abortion does not stop abortion, it stops safe abortion”. She added that prosecution deters women and girls from seeking medical assistance which will inevitably affect their health.

Councilors meeting at the Belfast city hall on Tuesday April 10, 2018 voted by 34 to 16 votes, with 5 abstentions to oppose the prosecution act.

Northern Ireland Is the only part in the UK where the 1967 abortion acts does not apply. Abortion is only legal in the region’s hospitals when there is a direct threat to a woman’s life. According to the UN, the Northern Irish abortion law violates women’s rights.

In 2016, a woman received a one year suspended statement at Belfast crown court for procuring her own abortion.

An estimated 2.000 women travel from Northern Ireland to English hospitals and clinics every year to have terminations.

The Northern Ireland Campaign manager for Amnesty International, Grainne Teggart said it was “vitally important” that the largest district council in Northern Ireland had stood by the women who face prosecution

 

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Louvier Kindo
Louvier Kindo 41 Articles

Louvier Kindo Tombe, passionate about radio. He is interested since 2017 in the issues of decentralization, local development and governance.

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