Derry pro-choice campaigners honoured in Washington D.C.

Colette Devlin (left), Diana King and Kitty O'Kane with a local solicitor present themselves at Strand Road PSNI Station earlier this year
Colette Devlin (left), Diana King and Kitty O'Kane with a local solicitor present themselves at Strand Road PSNI Station earlier this year

Three Derry women have received a major prize in Washington D.C. for their pro-choice activism.

Welcoming the award, People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann praised the trio as “exemplary role-models”.

Diana King, Colette Devlin and Kitty O’Kane, were presented with ‘Global Thinker 2016’ award by the Foreign Policy magazine.

The citation referred to their “righteous crime” - helping women to access abortion pills, which remain illegal in the North.

Last May, the three women presented themseves voluntarily at Strand Road PSNI station in Derry, and provided evidence that they had allowed their addresses to be used for the delivery of the pills.

They were questioned under caution, and it is understood a decision on whether to prosecute them has not been made.

In a statement, Mr. McCann said: “Derry should be proud of the three for having provided real leadership when none of the major parties is willing to step forward to support a woman’s right to make choices about her own life and her own body.

“I am calling on other MLAs to join with Gerry Carroll and myself in congratulating Diana, Colette and Kitty for their courageous action and for the good example they have given to all who fight for women’s rights.”

In March 2013 more than 100 women signed a letter to publicly confirm that they had either procured or administered ‘abortion pills’ and in June 2015 more than 200 women and up to 30 men signed a similar letter.