Abortion Debate: ‘Not A Criminal’ protest to take place in Derry

Protesters outside the Public Prosecution Service in Belfast on Thursday afternoon , the protest was hosted by Alliance for Choice and Belfast Feminist Network. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Protesters outside the Public Prosecution Service in Belfast on Thursday afternoon , the protest was hosted by Alliance for Choice and Belfast Feminist Network. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

A pro-choice campaign group will host a protest in Derry on Saturday.

The event has been organised by the Derry branch of Alliance For Choice and will take place between the Richmond Centre and Foyleside Shopping Centre at 2p.m.

The ‘Not A Criminal’ protest was organised after a woman was given a three month suspended sentence for breaking the 150 year-old anti-abortion law in the North.

A second woman from the North appeared in court this week charged with procuring abortion pills for her daughter who was a minor at the time of the alleged incident.

Alliance For Choice have created a Facebook page to let people know about the protest.

“Two women have been arrested, one already convicted for having a safe abortion with pills. This is an absolute outrage,” said the Derry branch for Alliance For Choice on their Facebook page.

We need to make it loud and clear, that we trust women

Derry branch - Alliance For Choice

“Northern Ireland is using legislation from 1861 to dictate the lives of women in 2016. We need to make it loud and clear, that we trust women. It is clear that there are two sets of rules - one for women who can afford to go to England and one for those who cannot. No one should be criminalised for being poor. Bring friends, shouty voices and banners.”

The Abortion Act 1967 is used in England, Scotland and Wales but not in the North of Ireland.

The legislation governing abortion in the North of Ireland are sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and sections 25 and 26 of the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1945 (which are derived from the corresponding provisions of the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929).