Bradshaw says abortion helpline should be provided free by health service

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the launch of a free helpline for women who have used online abortion pills but said the service should be provided free by the health service here.

South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw was speaking after the confidential aftercare support line by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service was introduced across Ireland, providing reassurance and advice for those who have taken the tablets.

“The launch of this helpline is a welcome move but this is the sort of service which should be provided free by the health service in Northern Ireland as part of a complete reform of abortion law here,” she said.

“If someone becomes unwell after taking illegal drugs, they can present at an emergency department, report to the nurse or doctor what they took and receive timely medical intervention. However, in the case of women taking an abortion pill, the medial professional is legally obliged to report this to the PSNI, therefore criminalising the woman.

“Women’s health needs to be the priority in this matter, not criminalising those who desire an abortion. While abortion is a conscience issue for Alliance, there is no doubt the law around the matter needs to be clarified as soon as possible.”

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