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Abortion drugs to be delivered by drone to Poland

Women's rights organisations are going to drop pills across the border from Germany using UAVs

Women from a border town in Poland called Slubice who are desperate for an abortion are going to receive WHO-approved abortion pills from four Polish and German women's organisations, delivered via drone on June 27.

In Poland, women can only get an abortion if there's proof of rape or incest, if the mother's life is endangered, or if the foetus is severely malformed. Using a bizarre loophole in the law, women are legally allowed to take these pills from the drones, because it's not actually against Polish law to induce a miscarriage. It's one of only seven European countries to have such a ban on abortion; Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta and San Marino being the others.

According to the campaign group Women on Waves, the organisation is able to fly the drones because the machines weigh less than 5 kilos and won't be flying through controlled airspac. This means the flight doesn't require authorisation from the German or Polish governments. 

It's sad that women are having to resort to collecting pills from drones to take control over their bodies, but the drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, can be taken without medical supervision if the woman is less than nine weeks pregnant. Women who are further along than this will have to either travel to get an abortion, or wait until the law changes.

Poland was chosen because of its restrictive abortion laws and if the mission on June 27 is successful, then it could be trialled in Ireland. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Waves told the Telegraph, “We’re very interested in the new developments around drones,” she said. “In a sense it’s a campaign to call attention to the reality for women in Poland. But there’s a future for it as a delivery model. We might do it in Ireland.” 

She added that she is unsure how the Polish government will react when the drones cross the border.