Mother jailed for abortion pills during lockdown to be released from prison

A mother who was jailed for illegally taking abortion pills during lockdown will be released from prison after the Court of Appeal reduced her sentence.

Carla Foster, a 45-year-old mother of four, admitted to illegally procuring her own abortion when she was between 32 and 34 weeks pregnant.

She was sentenced to 28 months in prison, with half the term to be served in custody and the remainder on license.

However, the Court of Appeal reduced her sentence to 14 months suspended on Tuesday.

Dame Victoria Sharp, Lord Justice Holroyde, and Mrs Justice Lambert heard the case at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Dame Victoria called it "a very sad case" and stated that it was one that called for compassion instead of punishment.

Foster appeared at the hearing via a video link from Foston Hall prison in Derbyshire.

Foster's case was a tragic one that involved a moving to her ex-partner's home during lockdown while carrying another man's baby.

She procured abortion pills by post from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) after providing information that led staff to believe she was seven weeks pregnant.

Although abortion is legal up to 24 weeks, the procedure must be carried out in a clinic after 10 weeks.

On 11 May 2020, Foster took the abortion pills, and emergency services received a call reporting that she had gone into labor.

The baby was born not breathing during the call and was pronounced dead about 45 minutes later.

Foster was initially charged with child destruction, which she denied.

She later pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of administering drugs or using instruments to procure abortion under section 58 of the Offenses Against the Person Act 1861.

The prosecution accepted the charge.

Dame Victoria told the court that there was "no useful purpose" served by detaining Foster in custody and added that her case had "exceptionally strong mitigation." Foster's barrister, Barry White, highlighted a lack of "vital reports" into his client's mental health and the pandemic's impact on A Labour MP has expressed a mix of relief and concern after a woman who was wrongly accused of shoplifting in the UK was able to return home to be with her children.

The MP noted that there are many more cases where women in England are being prosecuted and investigated, highlighting the need for continued vigilance and support for those who have been unfairly targeted by the justice system.

The case of the woman who was wrongly accused of shoplifting has drawn attention to the broader issue of racial discrimination in the UK's criminal justice system.

The MP's statement serves as a reminder that there are still many more cases to be addressed, and that efforts to combat racism and discrimination must be ongoing.

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