Private abortion clinic causes stir

By David McKittrick

There is little in the way of major medical equipment, since procedures will be carried out with drugs. Photo / File
There is little in the way of major medical equipment, since procedures will be carried out with drugs. Photo / File

The woman in her 40s, sheltering from the rain in a downtown Belfast doorway yesterday, was unaware that the building will soon house the city's first private abortion clinic.

Next week's opening has caused quite a stir, but she was unaware.

"Really?" said the woman, a west Belfast Catholic in her 40s. "Well, I would say okay, yep, go ahead. I used to work in a youth background in my neighbourhood and we gave out advice. I can see where there are times where it does have to be used."

Just along the street, a 20-year-old single woman voices the hostility of many locals. "I don't agree with that. I think that's terrible, that's awful. It shouldn't happen here at all."

The new clinic, run by the Marie Stopes organisation, is on the eighth floor of an anonymous office block in an area known for its nightlife.

There is little in the way of major medical equipment, since procedures will be carried out with drugs.

"This place is warm, welcoming and non-judgmental, offering safety, security and confidentiality," programme director Dawn Purvis said.

The clinic is a first for Northern Ireland but still subject to its strict abortion laws, which mean abortions can be carried out only in the first nine weeks of pregnancy, and when continuing the pregnancy would have serious, permanent or long-term effects on the physical or mental health of the woman.


-Independent

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 21 Dec 2014 19:36:02 Processing Time: 550ms