The woman took the medicines, and five days later, a caller reported that the woman was in labour.
The woman had not seen a doctor, according to testimony given in court, about her pregnancy since she was “embarrassed” and didn’t know how far along she was.
According to the PA Media news agency, a British lady who took medication to induce an abortion after the country’s legal limit has been given a 28-month prison sentence.
The mother-of-three, 44, received the sentence on Monday at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in central England in a case that prompted calls for a revision of the nation’s reproductive justice rules. She had admitted to giving out medicines or using tools to get an abortion. In this nation, life in jail is the maximum penalty.
After being released, the woman will serve the remaining time on a licence following the 14 months in jail. She first faced a charge of endangering children and entered a not guilty plea.
After discovering she was pregnant in 2019, the prosecution said that she looked up a variety of abortion-related material online between February and May 2020.
Image courtesy: the patrika
On May 6, 2020, she spoke with a nurse at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), a clinic that provides abortion care, according to PA Media. Based on her responses, BPAS estimated she was about seven weeks pregnant and mailed her drugs to induce an abortion.
The woman took the medicines, and five days later, a caller reported that the woman was in labour. Her child was born during the phone call, but was subsequently declared dead at the hospital after paramedics tried to revive him or her.
A post-mortem study found the woman was around 32 and 34 weeks pregnant at the time. According to PA Media, the baby’s cause of death was listed as stillbirth and maternal usage of abortion medicines.
According to the National Health Service, if a woman is less than 10 weeks pregnant, UK abortion rules allow her to obtain a medical abortion at home.
According to testimony given in court, the woman had not seen a doctor about her pregnancy since she was “embarrassed” and didn’t know how far along she was. The woman “lied to BPAS about the manner in which pregnant she was so they sent the tablets to her,” the prosecution barrister, Robert Price, claimed, according to PA Media.
Image courtesy: the times
The case, according to Justice Pepperall, was “tragic,” and he added that if the lady had entered a guilty plea earlier, he might have thought about postponing the jail term. The case led to demands for “urgent reform” of the UK’s abortion legislation.
In England, a violent offence carries an average prison term of 18 months. According to an 1868 statute, a woman who underwent an abortion without using the proper protocol recently received 28 months in prison, UK legislator Stella Creasy tweeted.
“We require immediate changes to make secure access for all women in England, Scotland, and Wales [sic] a human right.” “No woman can ever experience this again,” BPAS tweeted in response to the case. Britain urgently needs to amend its abortion laws.
In response to a question about whether British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is certain that criminalising abortion in some circumstances is the best course of action, his spokesperson told reporters that “our laws as they stand balance a woman’s right to make use of abortion that is legal and secure with the rights of an unborn child, I’m not aware of any plans to address that approach.”
After the woman was imprisoned for taking drugs to end her pregnancy after the 24-week restriction, women’s rights organisations, lawmakers, and medical professionals are urging the British government to change the country’s abortion legislation.