Dickson brands Precious Life as “anti-women” after sentence appeal comments

Alliance East Antrim Assembly candidate Stewart Dickson has branded pro-life campaign group Precious Life as “anti-women” after it said it would seek an increase in the sentence of a woman who bought drugs online to induce a miscarriage.

Precious Life’s Bernie Smyth said today the 21-year-old woman’s three-month suspended sentence was “very lenient”. The woman, who was 10-12 weeks pregnant at the time, obtained the tablets in July 2014 and was convicted on Monday (April 4) of two offences – procuring her own abortion by using a poison, and of supplying a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.

Mr Dickson said the proposal by Precious Life to have the sentence increased was “outrageous”.

“I would call on Precious Life to immediately withdraw any request to increase this poor woman’s sentence,” he said.

“The weight of public opinion is clearly that the current law around abortion is a nonsense. Guidelines being published and potentially tightened is well and good but a fundamental change in the law is what’s needed.

“Precious Life has set its stall out as anti-women, when in actual fact what is required are more options for women who find themselves in this horrific position to help them and give them the help needed.”

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