Northern Ireland: demonstrators call for the closure of the abortion clinic

Publié le : 19 October 2012

The first private clinic to carry out abortions opened on Thursday 18 October in Belfast, leading to numerous reactions. "About two hundred anti-abortion militants, including mothers with strollers, retirees and also teenagers, demonstrated peacefully in front of the clinic run by the Marie Stopes NGO to call for its closure." Bernadette Smyth, a member of the "Precious Life" association, said that the goal is to "let this organisation know that it is not welcome here and that it will not carry out any illegal abortion." According to James Dowson, from the "UK Life League" organisation, "in Ireland, both North and South, the population has rejected abortion on several occasions." In this region, the opening of the clinic has revived the controversial issue of abortion, with elected representatives of different parties regarding it as a threat to the current legislation. While the Northern Ireland Minister for Health, Edwin Poots, recently called on the Marie Stopes organisation "to be very careful about what it does" and promised that the authorities will make sure that "the law is observed," the Director of Public Prosecutions, John Larkin, wrote to MPs, the majority of whom are opposed to abortion, offering them his help if they opened an investigation into the activities of the clinic and emphasised that he could not "order its closure unless it was found to be involved in serious criminal behaviour."

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