Private abortion clinic in NI11th October 2012
Marie Stopes is to open the first private clinic to offer abortions to women in Northern Ireland.
Due to open on 18 October, the organisation said it will provide terminations within Northern Ireland’s current legal framework, which is different from the rest of the UK.
Abortions are not illegal in Northern Ireland, but they are very strictly controlled and can only be carried out in cases where continuing the pregnancy would have a serious, permanent or long-term effect on the physical or mental health of the woman.
The termination must be carried out before nine weeks gestation and it must be a “medical abortion”, where two doses of pills are prescribed. A 24-week limit for abortion applies in England, Wales and Scotland.
The centre’s programme director Dawn Purvis said the clinic would provide advice and treatment for sexually transmitted disease and reproductive health.
The former Progressive Unionist Party leader said the organisation was also prepared for any possible controversy.
She said: “Our clients’ needs are of paramount importance to us and how they access our services in a safe and secure route.
“We will be focusing on this and will obviously carry out a risk assessment of our needs and our security and we’ll have to revise those as time goes on.”
The Anti-Abortion group Precious Life has said it wants the centre shut before its scheduled opening but the Abortion Rights group say the centre is "ground-breaking".
Meanwhile, MLA Jim Allister said he believed that Marie Stopes was attempting to extend the availability of abortion.
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Title: Private abortion clinic in NI
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 22924
Date Added: 11th Oct 2012