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GP notes could be used as evidence in abortion case

By Alan Erwin

Published 02/11/2016

GP notes could feature in a court case against a man and woman allegedly involved in an attempt to get an abortion in Belfast.

An application is set to be made to have the contents of the medical records introduced as evidence in the criminal proceedings. Neither defendant is being named at this stage for legal reasons.

The woman, aged 21, is charged with using a poison to procure her own abortion.

The alleged offence involves administering noxious substances, namely the drugs Mifepristone and Misoprostol. Her co-accused, a 22-year-old man, faces a charge of supplying a poison with the intent to procure a miscarriage. The alleged offences relate to dates in 2015.

Both charges are contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

Under current law, terminations are only allowed in Northern Ireland if the woman's life or long-term health is at serious risk.

The defendants are being prosecuted at Belfast Magistrates Court. But plans to hold a preliminary enquiry to establish if they have a case to answer were adjourned to a later date. The application to have GP notes admitted is expected to be made at that stage.

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