15:22 13 October 2012
An abortion clinic that will soon be launched in Belfast has received mixed reactions, as Marie Stopes Northern Ireland is set to offer early terminations. This will mark the first clinic of its kind in Ulster, where decisions are expected be made on each pregnant woman’s case.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that the centre will assess whether the women who want a termination come under specific legalities, as reported by The Mirror.
The recent news has sparked off a controversial debate for or against abortions, with differences in opinion coming from religious bodies, who are believed to be outraged, to political parties, who are reportedly divided with their thoughts on the matter.
It is understood the practise will act on terminations if a woman is at immediate risk or could suffer long-term or permanent risks physically or mentally. These are the rules that operate in Ulster, which differs to other legal set-ups. The Abortion Act, 1967 does not affect Northern Ireland.
As reported by The Telegraph, the termination is to be conducted within the initial nine weeks of gestation and has to done via a woman ingesting two doses of pills - with surgery being ruled out.
A director of an anti-abortion organisation, Precious Life, named Bernadette Smyth, said to The Telegraph: “Anyone who kills an unborn child in Northern Ireland is committing an illegal criminal act.”
She added: “We remain confident that anyone who tries to perform abortions in Northern Ireland will be brought to justice.”
Whereas a Sinn Fein spokesman is quoted by The Mirror saying: “Sinn Fein is not in favour of abortion nor do we believe that the 1967 British Abortion Act should be extended to the six counties.
“Sinn Fein believes were a woman's life or mental health is at risk or in grave danger that the final decision rests with the woman.
“The Marie Stopes clinic is a private institution. It has to operate under the guidelines and legal framework set out by the Department of Health in North.”
Rumours state that campaigners have asked the Government in Ireland to re-address laws relating to abortions as a result of the news.
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