'Only a matter of time' before a woman dies from taking online abortion pills, says Varadkar
It's "only a matter of time" before an Irish woman dies from taking online abortion pills, according to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Abortion pills containing mifepristone and misoprostol have been deemed safe and effective by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In countries where abortion is legal, these pills are provided by a woman's doctor after she requests an early medical abortion.
Varadkar told Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio One today:
“It’s only a matter of time before somebody loses their life as a result of taking one of those pills over the internet.
“It has happened in other countries.”
He also urged the public to consider this when voting in the abortion referendum next week.
“Let’s not wait for this to happen," he said.
“If there is a no vote on Friday I think it’s only a matter of time before somebody haemorrhages or bleeds to death or dies as a result of using these pills unregulated.”
Almost 6,000 illegal abortion pills have been seized by Revenue over the last decade.
It is estimated that up to five women a day order abortion pills illegally online in Ireland.
Varadkar has said that if the referendum passes, there would be a 72 hour period of reflection for women wishing to procure an abortion.
He also said that "late-term abortions" would be banned.
Polls open on May 25.