Huffington Post, May 22, 2012 by Laura Hibbard
Catherine Furey, a 38-year-old mother of five from Salford, UK died after drinking industrial-strength vinegar in an attempted at-home abortion, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Furey’s sister-in-law, 33-year-old Dawn Chadwick, was charged with manslaughter for supplying the concentrated substance, but has now been cleared of any charges 18 months after the incident, which occurred on Dec. 1, 2010.
It was only after the investigation was completed that police made the details of the case available to the press, according to the Manchester Evening News.
All the while, Chadwick’s family maintained that she never should have been prosecuted.
“Dawn has significant learning difficulties and should never have been charged with the initial charge of supplying a noxious substance to cause an abortion,” Alex Preston, the family’s lawyer, told the paper.
While the family is pleased that the charges against Chadwick have been dropped, Furey’s husband, Craig, told the Daily Mail he was still too upset over his wife’s death to discuss the matter.
According to reports, Furey is believed to have researched the abortion method on the Internet.
Family Planning Association spokeswoman Natika H. Halil told the Manchester Evening News that the Internet is full of myths about pregnancy termination techniques and that women should consult their doctors when considering abortion.
“We know that there are many myths and misinformation about abortion on the internet,” Halil told the paper. “That’s why it’s so important to use trusted sources to gain accurate information on how to access abortion services.”
In the United States, the issue of dangerous abortion procedures recently surfaced on the floor of the Mississippi State Senate in April when a bill to remove the state’s last abortion clinic was being debated.
Taking issue with the legislation, State Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones asked Senate Public Health Committee Chair Sen. Dean Kirby if he thought eliminating abortions in the state would lead to back-alley abortions.
“That’s what we’re trying to stop here, the coat-hanger abortions,” Kirby replied, though he was referring to abortions that took place inside the clinic.
The bill was eventually passed and will take effect on July 1.