CUSTOMS OFFICIALS SEIZED more than 1,200 packets of illegal abortion pills en route to Ireland in 2009.
The pills are widely available on the internet, but should not be taken without medical supervision, health experts have warned.
The Irish Times reports that over 1,100 units of Misoprostol and 98 packets of Mifepristone were captured in 2009, signalling an increase in the numbers of women taking illegal drugs to induce abortions in Ireland to more than three women a day.
In a statement, the Irish Medicines Board said:
Counterfeit and illegal medicines pose a serious threat to public health. The board, in conjunction with the Revenue’s customs service and An Garda Síochána, continually monitors and investigates instances of illegal supply of medicinal products via the internet and other avenues and we actively enforce suspected breaches of the law.
A Google search for the term “buy misoprostol” returned almost half a million results, many of the sites willing to ship to Ireland.
The medical complications of abortions can include bleeding, infection, damage to the womb and the possibility of a clot move. Drugs like Misoprostol – which are only 80 to 90 per cent effective – should not be used after the ninth week of pregnancy.
Sinead Ahern of the group Choice Ireland said:
It is time to face up to the reality that Irish women will go to desperate lengths and take huge risks to end pregnancies they feel they cannot continue.