Irish activists to hand out abortion pills in the streets
17 February 2017
Activists are planning on distributing drugs, which are not supposed to be used without medical supervision, to campaign for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
Pro-abortion activists have vowed to break the law and hand out abortion inducing drugs in city centres and universities as part of their campaign to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment.
Volunteers with ROSA (Reproductive Rights against Oppression Sexism and Austerity) will hand out the abortion pills, Mifepristone and Misoprostol, to women requesting them when their ‘Bus4Repeal’ tours the country in March.
Rita Harrold of ROSA said the bus will be touring the country to "boost support" for the campaign to repeal the amendment which upholds the equal right to life of mother and baby and to provide access to what she termed “safe early abortions” for women who cannot or do not want to travel abroad for an abortion.
Calling providing the pills (which are illegal in Ireland) "safe" may prove controversial, as even abortion providers warn against using them unsupervised. Marie Stopes International, one of the largest abortion providers in the world, states on their website:
"You should only take medical abortion pills if they have been prescribed to you by a qualified health professional. Do not purchase so-called 'abortion pills' online - they may not be suitable and you may be risking your health", and again, "We strongly advise that you do not order tablets from the internet as this can pose a serious risk to your health".
The product information for the drugs used in the pills also makes clear that medical supervision is needed - "Failures: The non-negligible risk of failure makes the follow up visit mandatory to check that the abortion is complete." This is without mentioning the risks to women's mental health - the inventor of the drug described it as "an appalling psychological ordeal". Read all about medical abortion here.
Breaking the law
The activists have said that they are willing to break the law to "help" women in this way.
Abortion pills have been in the news this week, with Ann Furedi, CEO of BPAS, another major abortion provider, claiming that they are "safer than aspirin", and dismissing Department of Health statistics which state that there are twice as many complications for medical abortions than for surgical.
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