Northern Ireland abortion pill protest

Northern Ireland abortion pill protest
By Euronews
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Outside a Belfast courthouse campaigners, some dressed in Handmaid's Tale style outfits, gathered to protest the countries abortion ban


Outside a Belfast courthouse campaigners, some dressed in Handmaid's Tale-style outfits, gathered to protest the countries abortion ban.

On top of the three women a day who have to travel overseas, at least two take safe but illegal abortion pills bought off the internet risking life in prison.

In an act of defiance, a drone being controlled by a Dutch doctor delivers a pack of these pills before campaigners take them in full view of the police.

The women are stopped and questioned and the pills and the drone are confiscated

Having illegally taken the abortion pills, the protestors get onto bus and and start a trip travelling across Northern Ireland to distribute more of the pills. All the time,  under the watchful eye of  police officers.

Northern Ireland’s biggest political party, the DUP, objects to any changes to the abortion laws. While the protestors fill just one bus, campaigners like Grainne Taggart say repealing the ban would be popular.

"The DUP are out-of-step with where their own electorate are on this issue because those who identify as Unionists marginally more than those who identify as Nationlists also want to see this change," says Taggart of Amnesty International Northern Ireland. "So they're not reflecting their constituents' views on this matter. There is support among political parties, but of course we have not had a devolved government for 16 months now so it's really all eyes on the UK government who we would call on now to urgently act."

But Paul Givan, who was a DUP Minister before the suspension of Stormont, is unequivocal on his party’s position.

"The UK has an appalling record when it come to protecting the rights of the unborn child," he says. "The 1967 Act has left a legacy of nine million unborn children having lost their lives. That's not something we here in Northern Ireland want to have. We provide the right balance in protecting both the rights of the unborn child and the rights of the mother."

Euronews correspondent Vincent McAviney, says a source told him there may be action in the Westminster Parliament as soon as next week to begin adding a legalising amendment to the Domestic Violence bill. 

Campaigners are confident they have the cross party support to force this through.

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