Details of a case involving the tragic death of pregnant mother-of-five Catherine Furey have been released. The Manchester Evening News reported that Catherine had attempted a DIY home abortion by ingesting large quantities of concentrated vinegar after taking medically inaccurate advice from the internet. Sadly, she later died in hospital after suffering a violent reaction to the liquid.
Mrs Furey’s sister-in-law, Dawn Chadwick, who suffers from learning difficulties, was present during the attempted abortion and was later charged with manslaughter for allegedly assisting with the abortion. She was cleared of all charges 18 months following Mrs Furey’s death.
Mrs Furey’s death highlights the serious risks posed by inaccurate information on the internet. Women considering abortion are advised to seek accurate advice from a reliable source, such as their GP, or from a reputable organisation such as FPA or Brook.
Although such cases are rare in the UK, the circumstances of Mrs Furey’s death demonstrate the importance of ensuring that women have access to safe and legal abortion. Globally, 70,000 women die every year from unsafe terminations, largely in countries where the procedure is restricted or banned.