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Monday 21st May 2018

Harley St bans abortions

13th February 2007

The UK’s most famous medical district is to ban clinics offering abortions and cosmetic surgery.


The Howard de Walden Estate, which owns many of the properties in London's Harley Street, said they were trying to move away from "lifestyle procedures" to focus on becoming a centre of medical excellence. The estate owners said they would not be granting any new licenses for either cosmetic surgery or abortion clinics and that those already operating would not have their licenses renewed. Simon Baynham, representing the Howard de Walden Estate, said, “There are still doctors doing certain procedures that we'd rather were not here so we are steering a course that will restrict them.? The estate owners also plan to ban scientists and doctors researching euthanasia and cloning from working in the famous medical district.

The Harley Street area in Marylebone, London is widely known for offering private health care and includes famous hospitals such as the London Clinic, the Harley Street Clinic and King Edward VII. More recently however the area has become increasingly synonymous with cosmetic surgery and abortion clinics and the Howard de Walden Estate, which receives an annual rental income of £47m from its real estate in the district, wants to restore the area’s reputation to one of ‘serious medicine’.

Critics of the move say the estate is opposing women's rights by trying to force its views on others. Anne Quesney of the pro-choice group Abortion Rights said, "The Howard de Walden Estate's decision to prevent abortions from taking place in Harley Street is reminiscent of the situation in the US where abortion clinics are being driven underground, closed down or attacked. That is not a situation we should emulate in Britain where the overwhelming majority of the general public support women's right to make her own abortion decision - one that no woman takes lightly."

However, Mr Baynham said, “If you look at Harley Street, the vast majority of what goes on is serious medicine. Maybe we are oversensitive about image but, as a landlord, image is important to us."


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