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Abortion pill helpline launched for Irish women

By Michael McHugh

Published 01/09/2016

A free helpline for women who have used online abortion pills is to be launched across Ireland
A free helpline for women who have used online abortion pills is to be launched across Ireland

A free helpline for women who have used online abortion pills is to be launched across Ireland.

The confidential "aftercare" support from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) will provide reassurance and advice for those who have taken tablets ordered from two websites.

Strict laws surround terminations on both sides of the Irish border and BPAS said some women may not seek help as they knew they were committing a criminal offence.

Chief executive Ann Furedi said: "While we wait for politicians to do the right thing, BPAS will provide telephone aftercare."

In Northern Ireland the maximum penalty for the crime of administering a drug to induce miscarriage is life imprisonment.

In April, a 21-year-old woman was handed a suspended sentence by a judge in Belfast after she bought drugs on the internet to induce a miscarriage.

Dawn McAvoy, spokeswoman for the Evangelical Alliance, said: "Both lives matter."

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