Ian Collins is Leading Britain's Conversation.
21 September 2017, 16:38
A teenage schoolgirl from Northern Ireland has told LBC how she is risking jail by helping her friend access illegal abortion pills.
The 17-year-old, who can not be named, says she has no choice but to break the law because it’s the only safe way they can terminate pregnancies.
In Northern Ireland it is an offence to abort a pregnancy unless the mother’s life would otherwise be put at risk.
A recent study found hundreds of British women are seeking illegal abortion pills online because of barriers preventing them from accessing the healthcare.
Experts discovered women in England, Scotland and Wales are ditching traditional routes, such as the NHS, in favour of seeking help online.
Although Northern Irish women are able to travel to other parts of Britain for treatment, the teen told LBC many were put off because of the cost of travel or were fearful of their partner’s reaction.
She told reporter Rachael Venables she has already illegally helped four friends because she worried they would have resorted to more dangerous methods without her intervention.
She said: “It’s scary for me to think about, if I wasn’t so pro-choice and wasn’t so open about my activism then what would so many of these people do?
“Obviously I could go to jail for facilitating illegal abortion but that doesn’t stop me because women and people who can get pregnant are still going to get pregnant.
“I just prefer to help them so they can get it in a safe way. I don’t care about the consequences for me.”
Listen to the interview above.