It is still baffling to many including yours truly how different parts of the UK have varying abortion laws. Vulnerable women will be left to “suffer in silence and fear” following
While abortion is illegal other parts of the UK since 1967 it remains illegal in Northern Ireland. The police recently raided locations in Belfast suspected of illegal sales of abortion pill via the internet. Ironically these raids were carried out on International Women’s Day.
Now pro-choice campaigners are protesting once more that these raids targeting abortion pills, which are considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO) will only drive poor women who can’t afford the costs of travelling to abort their pregnancy elsewhere to cut corners by trying more harmful methods.
Speaking to Buzzfeed news which originally published the story Helen Crickard, a Belfast-based artist and abortion rights campaigner whose studio was searched by the police during the raids said, “Nothing is going to stop abortions, they are always going to happen, women in desperate situations might instead might seek backstreet abortions”.
“People will take drastic measures” she added
The Alliance for Choice group stated through its spokesperson that “There’s a worry about what measures a woman will take if the only safe options are now out of reach because of the risk of being prosecuted or arrested, or for financial reasons, women could end up putting themselves in serious danger”.
The illegality of abortion in neighbouring Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has resulted in many women travelling to England to legally access abortion. Costs vary from £330–£410 for up to 14-week old pregnancies and about £1,350 for 20 weeks and older. Travel and other costs make it even more expensive.
Abortion is a delicate and sensitive issue and much as I am conservative about it I believe that a woman should have the choice of keeping or terminating a pregnancy.