A woman who was imprisoned for procuring abortion pills illegally in order to terminate her pregnancy while the facility was on lockdown plans to appeal her conviction.
After admitting to illegally obtaining her own abortion while she was between 32 and 34 weeks pregnant, Carla Foster was given a 28-month extended sentence.
She called the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) during lockdown in 2020 and lied about how far along she was in her pregnancy, according to evidence presented at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. The BPAS then gave her the medications.
Foster was initially charged with child abuse and entered a not guilty plea; however, he then changed his plea to guilty to a charge of giving medicines or using devices to cause an abortion.
Foster will serve 14 months in jail and the remaining time on a licence after she is released, according to Mr Justice Pepperall, who sentenced her last month.
Foster will now appear before the Court of Appeal in London on Tuesday to challenge her prison term, which had sparked criticism from women’s organisations.
Foster, who had three sons before falling pregnant once more in 2019, told the court during the sentence hearing that she was “embarrassed” and unsure of how far along she was with her pregnancy and decided not to consult a doctor about it.
Between February and May 2020, according to the prosecution, Foster conducted a number of internet searches, including “how to hide a pregnancy bump,” “how to have an abortion without going to a doctor,” and “how to lose a baby at six months.”
Chiara Capraro, director of Amnesty International UK’s women’s human rights department, called the prosecution’s use of an 1861 legislation “shocking and, quite frankly, terrifying” when the verdict was handed down.
Clare Murphy, CEO of BPAS, remarked that “no woman can ever go through this again” and urged MPs to defend women in dire situations so they never face the prospect of going to jail.
At 10.30 am, Dame Victoria Sharp, Lord Justice Holroyde, and Mrs. Justice Lambert will hold the appeal hearing.