Woman denies illegally carrying out her own abortion during lockdown

A woman has appeared in court accused of illegally aborting her child during lockdown.

Bethany Cox, 22, is accused of using Misoprostol, a drug only cleared in 2018 for home use, to abort her unborn child at a time when it was ‘capable of being born alive.’

Cox, of Eaglescliffe, Stockton on Tees, was charged with two offences during an appearance at Teesside Crown Court: child destruction and procuring her own miscarriage by poison when she was 19 years old.

Both charges carry a maximum sentence of life behind bars.

Appearing at the court with a large entourage of family and friends, Cox, who has no other children, spoke only to plead ‘not guilty’ to each charge.

The charges date back to July 2020, during the first Covid lockdown.

Charge one states: ‘On 06/07/2020 at Stockton, with intent to destroy the life of a child capable of being born alive, by a wilful act, namely administering drugs to procure abortion, contrary to Section 58 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, caused the child to die before it had an existence independent of its mother.’

The second charge reads: ‘Between the 02/07/2020 and 07/07/2020 at Stockton being a woman with child, unlawfully administered to yourself a poison or other noxious thing, namely Misoprostol, with intent to procure your own miscarriage.’

In August 2018 the Government announced it would legalise the home-use of early medical abortion pills – including Misoprostol – in England by the end of that year.

A seven-day trial is scheduled to start on January 15.

She was granted unconditional bail by Judge Paul Watson KC.

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