Londonderry woman Diana King has 'no regrets' over buying abortion pills

Diana King, Colette Devlin and Kitty O'Kane turned themselves in to police on Monday evening Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Diana King, Colette Devlin and Kitty O'Kane turned themselves in to police on Monday evening

A Londonderry woman has said she has "no regrets" after she claimed she broke the law by obtaining abortion pills.

Diana King, 71, was one of three women who handed themselves in to Strand Road police station on Monday.

They were questioned and then released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

Pregnancy termination laws are stricter in Northern Ireland than in the rest of the UK.

Abortion is only permitted in Northern Ireland if a woman's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

Ms King said she made the move after seeing other women taken to court for using abortion pills.

Last month, a Belfast woman who bought drugs online to terminate her pregnancy was given a suspended sentence.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The women were questioned before being cautioned and released

"We've broken the law, we then go on in (and make) our statements to explain why we think the law is totally irrelevant," said Ms King.

"It accuses women of using noxious poisons. In fact these abortion pills are recognised by the world health organisation and are actually used by the NHS."

The Marie Stopes clinic, which offers private abortions, advises women to only take medical abortion pills if they have been prescribed by a qualified health professional.

When asked why the three women decided to turn themselves in to police, Ms King said they felt compelled.

"It's happening all around us and a lot of women are very, very shocked distressed and angry about it," she said.

"We don't feel the law is relevant. We are in the EU, we are EU residents accessing an EU service."

Ms King said she and the other women are prepared to risk a jail sentence.

"We are three older women, we don't have any careers at risk, our children have grown up, we've lived with this," she said.

"I think we trust women to make their own decisions and we feel that this is a health issue.

"We find that our government are quite happy to push people into corners, make them feel ashamed, keep the subject under wraps.

"We want it opened up, talked about and discussed."

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