Pro-Choice Activists Ask to Be Prosecuted to Prove a Point About Abortion Laws

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Photo: AydAn Mutlu

While in the U.S. pro-choice advocates fight felony charges and fake abortion centers, three women from Derry, Northern Ireland, have turned themselves in for procuring pills to induce abortion and distributing them to young women. They hope to trigger a trial following two high-profile cases prosecuting young women who used this method of abortion.

It is illegal to have an abortion in Northern Ireland, but legal in the rest of the U.K. In order to procure an abortion, women can either travel to England or Wales, or take poison to induce a miscarriage. Diana King, Collette Devlin, and Kitty O’Kane procured the pills to distribute to women who were nervous about buying the pills themselves. They say they are reacting to the culture of fear the court cases have created.

King, Devlin, and O’Kane are three women of the 200 who signed an open letter last year saying they had procured the tablets for themselves or other women and were willing to be arrested. When nothing happened, they marched to the courthouse themselves to protest Northern Ireland’s 155-year-old law. Ah Northern Ireland, the Oklahoma (and Texas, Utah, Florida) of the U.K.