clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Activists used a drone to deliver abortion pills to Northern Ireland

Pro-choice groups aimed to raise awareness around country's restrictive laws on abortion

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A group of pro-choice activists used a drone to deliver abortion pills to Northern Ireland this week, as part of a stunt aimed at raising awareness around the country's restrictive abortion laws. As The Guardian reports, the drone took off from Omeath, Ireland, near the border of Northern Ireland, and landed on the other side of the border around 10AM local time on Tuesday. It was carrying the drugs Mifepristone and Misoprostol, which can be used up to nine weeks into a pregnancy.

Nearly all forms of abortion are illegal in Northern Ireland, with offenders facing a maximum sentence of life in prison. This year, a 21-year-old woman was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to purchasing abortion pills online because she couldn't afford to travel to England to have the procedure.

An "act of solidarity"

The organizations behind this week's stunt said they carried it out as an "act of solidarity" with women in Northern Ireland who are facing prosecution for having an abortion, and as a demonstration that the country's laws can be easily circumvented with pills ordered online.

"Restrictive abortion laws will not keep women from accessing abortion pills, by ship, by mail, through the internet, drone or RC speedboat," said Dr. Rebecca Gomperts of Women on Waves, one of the rights groups that organized the drone flight. Women on Waves staged a similar stunt last year, using a drone to deliver abortion pills to Poland.

Two women took the abortion pills delivered on Tuesday, according to the groups behind the stunt. The Guardian reports that police were present for the flight, but no arrests were made and there was no attempt to confiscate the drugs.