Pro-choice rally for abortion clinic

Published Saturday, 10 November 2012
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Pro-choice activists gathered in Belfast city centre on Saturday to show their support for the Marie Stopes clinic.

Pro-choice rally for abortion clinic
Pro-choice activists in Belfast supporting the Marie Stopes Clinic. (© UTV)

The sexual health clinic also carries out abortions within Northern Ireland's current laws and opened its doors last month.

At the time of its opening, pro-life campaigners rallied against the clinic, but those taking part in the March for Marie Stopes said it is time for the women in Northern Ireland to have more choice.

Virginia Santini from Alliance for Choice Activist was one of the march organisers.

"In the next few weeks we are going to have women coming to the clinic with very traumatic and tragic circumstances and it's going to force people to rethink their position on abortion," she said.

Virginia said about 40 women leave NI each week to seek abortions and safe, legal alternatives need to be found closer to home.

"Criminalising abortion does not stop it from happening- rather it confines the right to terminate a pregnancy to those well off women who can afford the costly journey abroad, but it completely restricts and oppresses working class and unemployed women who are left with no options and no choice," she added.

Hundreds of people took part in Saturday's march which aimed to highlight this first step in the pro-choice battle for more reproductive rights.

"There's a very silent majority [of pro-choice supporters] but I think a lot of people who would see themselves as pro-choice are cautious about coming out into the streets," explained Virginia.

"This is a first step. We are not going to stop, we are going to carry on struggling. We are going to carry on trying to build support and get our side across."

Abortions offered by the Marie Stopes Clinic are only available to women who meet the criteria set by two different doctors. Aftercare, including counselling, is also provided for patients.

The clinic also provides ultrasound scans, along with STI testing and treatment, HIV testing, short and long-term contraceptive options and emergency contraception.

Pro-life group Precious Life say there is no will from the people of Northern Ireland to introduce any form of abortion in the region, and have been protesting outside the Marie Stopes clinic since it opened.

They say they will do everything in their power, including taking legal action to close it down.

© UTV News
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24 Comments
Dana Caffrey in NY wrote (731 days ago):
We cannot blame these people who are rallying against their beliefs. Let's face it, the government allow it so it's been passed as a legal thing. I know that rallies cannot stop abortion, but we can still do something to make the cases lessen.
Skinny in Everywhere wrote (744 days ago):
ANNND, boom. Head shot. Hindu mother dies because she was refused an abortion, "Because, Ireland is a Catholic country". Those quote marks are there for a reason. So, two lives are lost (as oppposed to one), because the state cannot seperate governance from religion. Religion has no place in government, and government has no place in religion. Even the Americans worked that out 150 years ago.
Belfast Mother in Belfast wrote (745 days ago):
Rachel, where do I start with your illogical comments?!! Michelle is right, the Government does pump miliions if not hundreds of millions into funding the likes of Marie Stopes and BPAS - two huge abortion conveyor belts. And both claim to be 'sexual health' clinics. "Bring on the Marie Stopes clinic!! It can only be a better thing for NI".How can this only be a better thing for Northern Ireland? Have you done any research about Marie Stopes? I have and I'm not impressed. Women who support abortion in GB and who have availed of their 'services' frequently complain about the nature and content of their 'counselling' service. Many recount experiences of having been left traumatised by their abortion experience in Marie Stopes clinics in GB - look it up - it's all out there in the public domain. (And there's worse than this) So I ask you, what does Marie Stopes provide in Northern Ireland that isn't already provided FOR FREE on the NHS? Marie Stopes is only here to line its pockets...money, money, money. If you think there is any altruistic reason for them being here you are deluded. They are a business and they are here to push abortion on to a people, the vast majority of whom do not agree with abortion. Why were we not asked whether we wanted the Marie Stopes clinic to open? Because if we were, there would have been such a backlash that it would not have happened. So instead, Marie Stopes and their pro abortionist friends in NI moved to beligerantly open this clinic by blind siding us all. As for the "surely its better for women to have abortions here considering they only do medical abortions and not surgical!!!" line. It beggars belief. Whether you take pills (which have horrendous effects) or have your baby sucked out of you and left in bits or dismemebered and removed piece by piece,the baby still ends up dead. There's no 'better option' in this case. Have you even stopped to think about what actually happens in an abortion? I doubt that you have. Do you not care? Why do you not care? Have you desensitised yourself to the horrific reality of abortion? Just because we can do abortions doesn't mean we should do them. Just becasue abortion is 'legal' in some countries doesn't mean that it is right or moral. In my opinion it is plain just wrong.
Michelle in Derry wrote (745 days ago):
Rachael in response to your comments re "people have to be at the RVH GUM clinic for 7am and queue for up to 4hours" you have just confirmed what I meant by "The government is constantly pumpimg money into sexual health clinics but its failing miserably." There is so much info out there to avoid people getting STD's etc, obviously if people have to queue at GUM clinic's as you have stated then surely this tells us that they are failing. A new approach is needed such as woman having respect for themselves instead of jumping from one sexual partner to another! You seem to be missing the point re medical and surgical abortions, both result in MURDER!!! People go on and on about human rights but what about the most important human right of all and that is that of the defenceless unborn child, a HUMAN being that can't even speak out for itself, no voice to ask to for he/she to live, no voice to ask for an anaesthetic as it is being ripped apart limb by limb? An animal wounldnt be treated like this. I challenge all of you prochoicers to take a look at the horror of what really happens in each abortion!!
darcy hubbert in New York wrote (745 days ago):
Women's rights vs. children's rights! What will prosper in the long run?
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