Belfast Telegraph

Five women a day using abortion pills bought online - pro-choice campaigners

At least five women a day are illegally using abortion pills bought on the web, it has been claimed.

Pro-choice campaign group ROSA - Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism and Austerity - said new abortion legislation was needed to stop women having to use pills in secrecy and facing a potential jail sentence.

Campaigning outside the Dail on Wednesday for legislative change, Rosa spokeswoman Una Reynolds said: " We can never know the exact figure having home abortions because of illegality and secrecy.

"But we can now estimate that at least five people a day in the Republic of Ireland are using safe medical abortion pills."

She added: "How can a government sweep such a reality under the carpet?"

Ms Reynolds said the pills were being purchased from online sites.

She added: "Pregnant people are using medical abortion pills, illegal to use here but available to women throughout the world and recognised as essential medicine by the WHO."

Rita Harrold of Rosa said: "If we legislate for abortion on request up to 12 weeks as the Citizens Assembly recommended, we could allow women go to their own GP rather than using pills in secrecy and facing a potential jail sentence."

In September the chairwoman of the Citizens' Assembly which recommended liberalising rules on the termination of pregnancy urged politicians to examine the increasing use of abortion pills.

Mrs Justice Mary Laffoy said she was concerned that it was a growing phenomenon, with fewer women travelling to the UK and Netherlands for the procedure.

In May health chiefs said the number of women giving Irish addresses at clinics and hospitals in England and Wales in 2015 was down by 200 on the previous year.

At the same time they said one internet supplier of abortion pills reported 1,438 contacts from women in 2015.

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