Too bad for her she lived in Belfast

Northern Ireland as a little outpost of Catholic woman-hatred, even though it’s officially not Catholic as it’s part of the UK.

A woman bought drugs for a home abortion after failing to raise enough money to travel to England for a termination, a court heard on Monday.

A barrister for the woman told Belfast Crown Court that had his client lived in any other region of the UK, she would “not have found herself before the courts”.

She was in court because she was on trial, because Northern Ireland isn’t as free of Catholic dogma as it might like you to think.

She bought drugs online and then miscarried, in July 2014. She was 19 then.

The male foetus, which was between 10 and 12 weeks, was later found in the bin of a house she shared with two other people.

She appeared in court today where she pleaded guilty to two charges – namely procuring her own abortion by using a poison, and of supplying a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.

Handing the woman a three-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, Judge David McFarland spoke of the difference in legislation surrounding abortion in Northern Ireland, compared to England, Scotland and Wales.

A very large difference, clearly.

Crown prosecutor Kate McKay said that on July 20, 2014 police were contacted by the woman’s housemates and were made aware that she had bought drugs online which had induced a miscarriage on July 12.

When officers arrived at the rented accommodation in south Belfast, they conducted a search and located various items – including a foetus which was located in a black bag in the household bin.

A subsequent post-mortem confirmed that the male foetus was between ten to 12 weeks and was the woman’s biological son.

Mrs McKay said that when the woman moved into the house in May 2014, she told her two housemates that she was pregnant but that she was trying to raise the money to travel to England for a termination.

She clearly wasn’t expecting them to call the police.

The day after she miscarried

her housemates found both blood-stained items and the foetus in the bin. One housemate described the foetus as a “wee baby” around four inches long.

Mrs McKay said at this point the housemates were in a dilemma about what to do and were “taken aback by the seemingly blase attitude” adopted by the woman. Around a week later, they contacted the PSNI.

That will teach her to be “blasé” about terminating a pregnancy at ten weeks. Good thing she had roommates to rat her out.

Acknowledging that as a UK citizen the woman could legally have travelled to England for a termination, Judge McFarland said that the advice given by the clinic “without knowledge of her background and details was perhaps inappropriate”.

He also said that while there are agencies in Northern Ireland that give advice on such issues “unfortunately they are part of a polarised debate that can be part of a more toxic debate”.

What a nasty mess.

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