GALWAY PRO CHOICE JOINS ALL IRELAND DEMONSTRATION CONDEMNING CRIMINALISATION OF WOMEN FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE GALWAY (IRELAND). 15th Jan – Galway Pro Choice will hold a solidarity demonstration outside the Court House this evening at 6pm to stand in solidarity with a 21-year-old woman facing prosecution in the North of Ireland on charges of using ‘poison’ to procure an abortion. Solidarity actions will happen simultaneously across Ireland, including in Belfast, Cork and Dublin. The women’s rights group condemns the arrest of the County Down woman who has been ordered to stand trial for charges based on the archaic Offences Against the Person Act of 1861. The rest of the UK has since repealed the abortion provision of this act and Galway Pro Choice members say it is time for Northern Ireland to follow suit, pointing out that had this woman lived less than 100 miles due east, these pills would have been provided to her by the NHS. “Mifepristone and Misoprostol are not poison. They are on the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medicines. They are considered basic drugs that all doctors in all states should have available. The hypocrisy is jaw dropping given that these same drugs are used for medical abortions in the rest of the UK,” commented Galway Pro Choice spokesperson Jacinta Fay. “Politicians North and South need to face up to reality. Criminalising abortion puts women in danger and does not decrease the rate of abortion. At least ten women a day travel abroad for abortions and women who cannot travel order pills online. Our draconian laws make them criminals and discriminate against the most vulnerable women – those without resources to travel. Women living on the island of Ireland can face imprisonment for taking tablets which would be prescribed on the NHS,” added Galway Pro Choice spokesperson Maria Johanna Heschl. “We condemn the criminalisation of women, and anyone who can become pregnant, for accessing reproductive healthcare. Galway Pro Choice members call on the Assembly at Stormont to extend the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland and for all political parties in the Republic to commit to holding a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment,” concluded Fay. ENDS