Abortion campaign ‘stunt’ wrong, says Campbell

Colette Devlin (left), Diana King and Kitty O'Kane with a local solicitor present themselves at Strand Road PSNI Station on Monday evening.
Colette Devlin (left), Diana King and Kitty O'Kane with a local solicitor present themselves at Strand Road PSNI Station on Monday evening.

Gregory Campbell has dismissed the actions of three women in Londonderry who handed themselves over to police for procuring abortion pills as a “stunt”.

The East Londonderry MP said: “We all have our views and hopefully we can each argue our views rationally rather than make your views known with a stunt to challenge the authorities to prosecute you.”

Alliance for Choice members Kitty O’Kane (69), Colette Devlin (68) and Diana King (71) handed themselves in to the PSNI in Londonderry for procuring abortion pills on Monday evening, as a crowd cheered outside the police station on Strand Road.

A PSNI spokesman confirmed this morning: “Three females attended Strand Road police station last night in connection with the procurement of abortion pills, contrary to section 58 of the ‘Offences Against the Person Act’.

“Police enquiries into the matter will continue.”

DUP MP Gregory Campbell condemned the actions of the three women, saying: “It is not an appropriate way to campaign about a change in legislation to break the existing law, if that is what they are alleging they did.

“It goes to the heart of what people believe about the sanctity of human life. Routinely breaking the law and presenting yourself to police - I don’t think that is an appropriate way to campaign.

“We all have our views and hopefully we can each argue our views rationally rather than make your views known with a stunt to challenge the authorities to prosecute you.

“We are against the extension of the 1967 Act.

“We are unashamedly a pro-life party and we will not be changing our support for the retention of innocent life.

“There is nothing more innocent than an unborn child but that is not to minimise the difficulty faced by some women in some circumstances.

“I don’t think routinely breaking the law is an appropriate way to campaign for a change in legislation.”

Reading a statement outside the police station, Diana King said: “We do now have one law for the rich and one law for the poor.

“If you can raise the £1,000 to £2,000 to travel to GB for a legal abortion no-one will bother year, but if you access the nine-week abortion pills online for £60, there’s a climate of fear resulting from Stormont and the DPP hounding women who are already at their most vulnerable.

“I don’t want to believe our politicians will let this continue, but I fear they will, so it is up to us to keep campaigning.”

Local investigative online organisation, Beyond The Pillars, meanwhile recently revealed that since 2011, 18 abortion pills have been seized across Northern Ireland.