26/06/2019

Date Set For Mother's Abortion Pill Trial

A mother accused of buying abortion pills online for her then 15-year-old daughter is set to go on trial in November.

The woman, who cannot be named to ensure her daughter's anonymity, faces two charges of unlawfully procuring and supplying abortion pills in 2013.

Amnesty International, an intervenor in the case, expressed concern at the development as the outcome of a judicial review challenge to the decision to prosecute the woman remains unknown.

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland Campaigns Manager, said: "It is concerning that we don't yet have an outcome in the judicial review, yet the case has been listed for trial. We need the judgment in the judicial review urgently.
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"It's 2019 and women are being hauled through the courts and treated as criminals. It is a glaring inequality that if this daughter had been living in any other part of the UK she could have accessed these pills freely on the NHS and moved on with her life. This grave injustice must end."

Ms Teggart also demanded government action to bring Northern Ireland's abortion laws in line with the rest of the UK. She said: "The UK Government must act and stop grossly neglecting their responsibilities to women here. They cannot ignore the harm caused by these laws. We call on the Northern Ireland Secretary of State and the Women and Equalities Minister to treat this issue with the urgency it deserves."

Jemma Conlon, solicitor for the mother, added: "My client is a loving mother who helped her daughter when she needed it. Their lives are on hold whilst the fear of this pending prosecution looms over them. This family have been forced to relive the distress of this private family matter for the past six years. We will continue to fight this case."



(JG/CM)

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