The judge acknowledges the woman’s profound remorse but states that he must apply the law as it currently exists, leaving any potential change to the legislature.
The woman lied to the service and claimed to be seven weeks expectant.
After consuming the pills, her 32- to 34-week pregnancy ended in stillbirth.
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the woman conducted web queries such as “Can being hit in the stomach cause a miscarriage? “, “Where can I buy abortion pills in the United Kingdom? “, and “I need to have an abortion but I’m over 24 weeks pregnant.”
The mother initially lied about her pregnancy and made a second call after the birth of her daughter.
The attempts to revive the infant were unsuccessful.
That night, the woman googled, “Could I go to jail for aborting my child at 30 weeks?”
Nightmares and memory flashes
Judge Mr. Justice Pepperall stated at Stoke Crown Court that the woman’s decision to procure a very late abortion was tragic and illegal.
He said she planned her irregular actions knowing her pregnancy was over 24 weeks.
However, he took into account the fact that she has demonstrated sincere sorrow and is wracked with guilt.
“I understand you have a strong emotional bond with your deceased child and experience nightmares and flashbacks of your child’s face,” he told her.
The judge also discussed the difficulty of reconciling the law with a woman’s right to an abortion. However, he stated that it was his responsibility to implement the law as it stands and that any changes were up to the legislature.
Given the case, senior medical personnel had unusually written to him urging a suspended sentence.
They stated that the telemedical service was a tremendous benefit and that it had transformed care for some of the most vulnerable women and girls in the country, who have difficulty accessing in-person services.
They expressed concern that her imprisonment could discourage other women from seeking assistance and health.
Call for ‘urgent reform’
She received a 28-month extended sentence with 14 months in prison and 14 on probation.
After the sentence, Labour MP Stella Creasey demanded immediate reform.
“A woman who had an abortion without following correct procedures was recently sentenced to 28 months in prison under a law from 1868 – we need immediate reform to make safe access for all women in England, Scotland, and Wales a fundamental human right.”
A spokesperson for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children described it as a “horrifying case” involving an “eight-month-old fully viable baby” and stated that the woman knew she was violating the law when she lied to obtain the drugs.
However, the report criticized the availability of abortion drugs via mail and added, “The real culprits in this tragedy are the abortion providers who pushed for dangerous home abortions and are now using this case to push for abortion up until birth.”