Buying abortion through the internet: exploring the social harm of criminalising abortion in Northern Ireland and the UK


This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, under its Transformative Research Programme.

The survey team comprises Goretti Horgan, Ann Marie Gray and Linda Moore.

The aim of this study is to provide a new framing of the debate around social harm and the criminalisation of abortion in the United Kingdom. The project explores the experiences of women in Northern Ireland who have used the abortion pill illegally and those in Scotland who have used it legally. The project also obtains the views of the general public in Northern Ireland on abortion.    The study’s results will inform policy and service provision in the area of reproductive health.

The study used the 2016 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey to obtain the views of the general public on a wide range of issues relating to abortion. Initial analysis of this data can be accessed here and here.

Why 50 years since the Abortion Act some people in Northern Ireland are still buying illegal abortions online – research explores their story, by Goretti Horgan. This article was published on the ESRC blog on 27 April 2018, to mark 50 years since the implementation of the 1967 Abortion Act.

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