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.

PillsThe 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. Some of these questions were repeated in the 2018 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey.  Analysis of the survey data is available in a range of publications and blog articles:


A one-day event - The Abortion Pill, Women's Rights & Policy Reform in Northern Ireland- held in Ulster University on Friday 8th March 2019 reported on key findings from this project, followed by a response from service providers.


For more information, please contact: