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I posed as a 15-year-old and got pills for €15

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One of the websites where women can buy abortion pills

One of the websites where women can buy abortion pills

Fionnuala McCarthy

Fionnuala McCarthy

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One of the websites where women can buy abortion pills

It took 10 minutes, €15 and then a two week wait for the pills to arrive in the post.

You can see why a woman, or worse still a young girl, terrified of having a child would resort to buying abortion tablets over the internet.

I posed as a 15-year-old and lied my way through a series of questions, including making a promise that I would be within 60 minutes of a hospital when I took the tablets.

The site says that if I need to go to hospital a doctor cannot detect the signs that I have taken any medication and I will present as a woman having a miscarriage.

Assurances are given that should the pills be found, they can also be issued for use to prevent stomach ulcers, depression and breast cancer.

The website asked for a €90 donation but Women on the Web say that no one who is in economic difficulty will be turned away.

To test the theory I offer €15, using a colleague's credit card and it is instantly accepted.

According to the website itself, women from countries like Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Ireland, have availed of their services

The personal accounts of 22 women from Ireland are on the website, including a woman who describes herself as 'mammy of two'. Another, Janie, said she had contemplated suicide when she discovered she was pregnant.

I get a reply explaining pills cannot be sent to the Republic, as some packages have been seized by the Irish Medicines Board

However, alternatives are offered - you can use an address in Northern Ireland, or use a courier service that will receive the package into Northern Ireland and then ship it on to the Republic.

Finally I am warned that if the abortion fails and the pregnancy continues, there is a slight increase in the risk of birth defects.

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Within a fortnight a small package on my desk in a white envelope with no note inside, just 8 labelled pills.


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