Young women are taking abortion pills ‘alone, unsupervised, scared and stigmatised’

People Before Profit TDs gather outside Leinster House with abortion pills

Young women are taking abortion pills “alone, unsupervised, scared and stigmatised”, People Before Profit has said.

The party’s TDs Brid Smith, Richard Boyd Barrett and Gino Kenny gathered outside Leinster House on Thursday morning with abortion pills and calling for a yes vote in the upcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment.

The TDs, joined by local councillors and activists, said the event was to highlight that a woman who takes an abortion pill can be given a 14-year prison sentence under the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013.

“In this country we have an intolerable situation where the sentence for taking an abortion pill is double that of a convicted rapist. It is truly barbaric. We need a yes vote in the upcoming referendum so we can begin to reverse this,” Deputy Smith said.


“Increasingly young people are accessing this pill on the internet as a form of having the termination but they do it isolated, without medical supervision and they do it in situations which are considered by the medical profession to be dangerous,” she added.

“Taking it without medical supervision is dangerous. Taking it with medical supervision is very safe.”

Ms Smith denied buying abortion bills and showcasing them outside Leinster House was a “provocative act”. She said the Iona Institute “continually ignore” the woman in pregnancies.

“No pregnancy happens without a woman and if a woman does not want for whatever reason to continue with a pregnancy she will find a way of having an abortion and this is increasingly one of the ways that they are doing it because you can get it online.

“When of the main reasons why women said they have terminations in this country was because they simply cannot afford another child and most of them are already mothers.

“That’s a fact that this country needs to wake up to we have a housing crisis, a trolley crisis, a crisis in our schools where we’re not giving children enough support.”

The Health Products Regulatory Authority said around 1,000 abortion pills were detained last year.

Ms Smith also said “this Government has to go” following the cervical cancer screening controversy.

“People are saying Tony O’Brien has to go, I’ll go further, this Government has to go because they’re standing over it.

“Imagine being a boss who isn’t told about one of the most crucial things, one of the most dangerous things that’s happened for decades in this country, by the people under you in your department. They don’t tell you and you do nothing about that. That’s not a boss, that’s not somebody in charge.”

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times