Women take abortion pills in Northern Ireland protest

LONDON — Pro-abortion rights campaigners have taken what they say are abortion pills outside a Belfast court as pressure grows to ease Northern Ireland's strict ban on terminating pregnancies.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. in which abortion is illegal in all but exceptional cases. Last week the neighboring Republic of Ireland voted to remove a constitutional ban on abortions, putting pressure on the north to follow suit.

Campaigners used a small robot Thursday to distribute pills, before three women swallowed the tablets.

Police officers seized the pills and robot, and attempted to lead one woman away. They eventually left without detaining her.

Organizers didn't say whether the women were pregnant, noting that it would be illegal for them to take the pills if they were.

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