The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has welcomed the Court of Appeal's decision to reduce the sentence of a woman who was imprisoned for illegally obtaining abortion tablets.
Carla Foster who's 45 and a mother of three, admitted illegally procuring her own abortion during lockdown when she was between 32 and 34 weeks pregnant. She was given a 28 month custodial jail sentence last month, but was told by a Judge at Stoke on Trent Crown Court that she would serve half the term in custody and the remainder on licence. Yesterday, however, the Court of Appeal reduced the term to 14 months suspended.
Commenting on the ruling, Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the Bishops’ Conference, said:
“I reiterate the consistent teaching of the Church that both the mother and the unborn child should be afforded the protection of the law and that abortion is always a tragedy for all concerned.
“It is important that the law which protects the life of the unborn child is upheld. In this case I welcome the court’s decision to show mercy and compassion so that Carla Foster is reunited with her children and her family life can continue.”
“I raise again the concern that telemedicine (pills by post), which allows the home termination of pregnancies of up to 10 weeks, is dangerous for the health of women.”
Sitting with Lord Justice Holroyde and Mrs Justice Lambert at the Court of Appeal this week, Dame Victoria Sharp described the case as "very sad. It is a case that calls for compassion, not punishment."