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21-Year-Old Woman May Get Life In Prison For Taking Abortion Pills

A 21-year-old unidentified woman is reportedly facing a life sentence in Belfast, Ireland, for taking abortion pills in June and July 2014.

The young woman, whose name has been withheld for legal purposes, allegedly supplied and administered harmful substances to herself to end her own pregnancy, notes the Belfast Telegraph.

The harmful substances in the case are Mifepristone and Misoprostol, which are taken legally in the U.S. and other countries by women for medical abortions.

The Irish woman has been charged under the Offenses Against the Person Act 1861.

According to a Jan. 12 press release by Amnesty International U.K., the woman faces "life imprisonment if found guilty of allegedly supplying and taking so-called ‘abortion pills.'"

"Northern Ireland's draconian and discriminatory abortion laws treat ordinary women and girls like criminals," Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland program director, said in the release.

"Women in Northern Ireland feel forced to take matters into their own hands, because there is no access to abortion for women who require it," Corrigan added. “By denying access to healthcare services, Northern Ireland is violating women and girls' human rights, as has now been established in Belfast’s High Court."

Corrigan was referring to a ruling by the high court in November 2015 that found Northern Ireland's abortion law was in violation of a human rights law.

In that case, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) called for extending abortion rights to include major fetal deformities, rape or incest, noted BBC News.

Northern Ireland currently allows abortion only if a woman's life is in danger or if she faces a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

Sources: Belfast Telegraph, Amnesty International U.K., BBC News / Photo Credit: Andrew Bardwell/Flickr, Dylan Oliphant/WikiCommons

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