18 July 2023

Carla Foster: Woman jailed for illegal abortion to be released after winning appeal

Her sentence was described as ‘shocking and quite frankly terrifying‘ by women’s rights campaigners.

Carla Foster, a mother who was jailed for illegally obtaining abortion tablets to end her pregnancy during lockdown, will be released from prison after the Court of Appeal reduced her sentence.

Foster was originally given a 28-month sentence for procuring her own abortion when she was between 32 and 34 weeks pregnant. 

Sentencing Foster last month, Mr Justice Pepperall said Foster would serve half her term in custody and the remainder on licence after her release. But at the Court of Appeal in London today, three judges reduced her prison sentence.

Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Lord Justice Holroyde and Mrs Justice Lambert, said Foster’s sentence would be reduced to 14 months and that it should be suspended.

‘This is a very sad case… It is a case that calls for compassion, not punishment,’ Dame Victoria added.

Last year, a letter signed by 66 organisations and individuals from women’s health organisations including the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions urging them to end the prosecuting of women who end their own pregnancies. 

They wrote: “It is our strong belief that in the 21st century, in the shadow of the overturning of Roe v Wade, it is never in the public interest to prosecute women in these circumstances.”

  • Writer Chris Saunders
  • Banner Image Credit Pexels

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