A UK mother jailed in June for procuring an illegal abortion during lockdown, under a law written in 1861, has had her prison sentence reduced by the Court of Appeal. Three judges ruled yesterday that 44 year-old Carla Foster’s original 28-month sentence should be reduced to a 14-month suspended sentence. One judge said that it was “a case that calls for compassion, not punishment” and there was “no useful purpose” in detaining the mother of three. Her initial sentencing last month reignited a conversation in parliament and the courts over Victorian-era laws still on the books that criminalise some abortions – despite the technical legalisation of abortions in the UK in 1967. Clare Murphy, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said she was “delighted” by the decision and urged parliament to take action urgently as two other UK women accused of illegal abortions await trial.
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