Two women in Ireland received abortion pills delivered by a drone from the other side of Ireland as a way of protesting the absurd anti-abortion laws on both sides.
‘Abortion by drone‘ is not exactly what it sounds like; given the advanced science of our age, it might not seem surprising, but the phrase has actually been used to describe a drone delivering abortion pills.
This method of delivery may seem over-the-top, and that’s because it’s meant to be: the groups involved are pro-choice activists who wanted to highlight the absurdity of the strict, outdated laws in north and south Ireland and to express their unity.
“We are here to say we are going to defy the law in helping women obtain these pills and we are going to work to make the law unworkable and stand in solidarity with all women who want to have an abortion and have the right to do so in Northern Ireland.”
The drop was organized by several groups, including Alliance for Choice, Rosa, Labour Alternative, the Abortion Rights Campaign, Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, and Women On Waves, who organized a similar protest from Germany to Poland. They claimed that this protest was “an all-island act of solidarity between women in the north and the south.”
The law being applied to abortions and allowing them to remain illegal is the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act and sentences can vary between Northern Island and the Republic of Ireland. In the north, women can face life in prison for undergoing an abortion or taking the pills, and in the Republic they can face 14 years.
Only those with enough money can afford to travel to nearby nations, such as Wales, Scotland, and England, where they can afford to have safe, legal abortions. Those who are unfortunate enough to not have as much wealth are forced to either carry their pregnancy to term or undergo an illegal, and therefore unsafe, abortion.
Police officers monitored the protest in Ireland but did not intervene. The women on one side were able to send the drone over with no issues and the women on the receiving end were able to take the pills without being stopped or arrested. The medication was prescribed by a doctor, although it’s unclear whether either of the women was actually pregnant.
Lucy Simpson, the other woman who took the tablets, said,
“Thousands of women suffer every year in Northern Ireland and the Republic having to travel abroad for abortions and go through very traumatic times. We feel now is the time to change legislation.”
Other campaigns gaining traction in Ireland include the #RepealTheEighth campaign, which calls for an overturn of the 1983 Eighth Amendment that states that the unborn has just as much right to life as the mother.
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