CA reduces sentence of woman who aborted child between 32 and 34 weeks

After being jailed for illegally taking abortion tables to end her pregnancy during lockdown, a mother has been released after the Court of Appeal reduced her sentence.

The mother, Carla Foster, was told that she would be serving half of her 28-month term in custody and the remainder on licence before the Court of Appeal reduced the term to 14 months suspended.

Foster had moved back in with her ex-partner at the start of lockdown whilst she was carrying another man’s baby, the court heard.

After providing information that led staff to believe that she was seven months pregnant, she managed to get hold of pills by post from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).

Foster took the abortion pills in May 2020 and then went into labour where the baby was pronounced dead.

Barry White, Foster’s barrister, said that there had been a lack of “vital support” into his client’s mental health during the pandemic. Foster was also disallowed communication with her children during her incarceration.

Mr White mentioned that Foster had voluntarily revealed her actions to police, adding:

“Had she not done that, it is highly unlikely that she would have ever been prosecuted.”

The BBC reported that Robert Price, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said the original sentence was not “manifestly excessive” and the judge had “correctly made allowances for mitigating factors in this unusually sensitive case”.

Chief executive of the BPAS Clare Murphy, said:

“The court of appeal has today recognised that this cruel, antiquated law does not reflect the values of society today.

Now is the time to reform abortion law so that no more women are unjustly criminalised for taking desperate actions at a desperate time in their lives.”

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