Robots deployed on the streets of Belfast to deliver abortion pills in an awareness-raising exercise were impounded by police on Thursday, as pressure mounts for Northern Ireland's strict pregnancy termination laws to be liberalized.
THE IRISH Society of the British Labour Party has urged leader Jeremy Corbyn to stay out of the debate on whether Northern Ireland abortion laws should be amended to be in line with Ireland.
Campaigners used a small robot to distribute pills outside Belfast's Laganside courts complex, before three women flanked by others dressed in "Handmaid's Tale" outfits swallowed the tablets.
The women who took the pills said they did not wish to disclose whether they were pregnant.
Prime Minister Theresa May said she has no plans to help liberalise abortion rights in Northern Ireland, particularly as she would lose the support of the pro-life DUP - which would make her government untenable.More news: Twitter Takes Down Kanye West’s Tweet Containing Links to His Own Album
"We are not willing in the wake of (Ireland's) repeal referendum to be left behind any longer".
'Northern Ireland after repeal will be one of only two jurisdictions remaining in Europe to criminalise women effectively for having abortions.
"We are not willing to accept it any more".
The Northern Ireland Assembly voted in February 2016 against legalising abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and rape or incest.
The European Union previously criticized May for not setting out how the United Kingdom would achieve a frictionless border with the EU without erecting a land border to control goods between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.More news: Halep Breezes Into Third Round In Paris
"We are very concerned about what is happening here today and we welcome the presence of the PSNI to ensure that our laws are upheld here in Northern Ireland", she said.
After a tense hour-long encounter staged in an open area between Belfast's Crown and High Courts, the pro-choice activists boarded a bus.
"Where Westminster has had votes in relation to this in the past there has been a free vote, but I'm not going to comment on hypothetical amendments", he said. A divisive referendum would simply delay women's rights longer.
"I'm determined to get it right for women, to get it right for doctors and that's why it will take until the end of the year". "We hope they take it".
Northern Irish people can already access healthcare across the border.More news: Harvey Weinstein Surrenders To Authorities On Sexual Assault Allegations
She said the PSNI was under enormous pressure and was aware of the global pressure inspired by the repeal movement.