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New abortion law in Northern Ireland reflects alarm about Marie Stopes, says SPUC

27 February 2013

Belfast, 27 February 2013: The UK's leading pro-life organisation has said that new legislation on abortion introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly is a response to the level of public concern aroused by the arrival in Northern Ireland of Marie Stopes International (MSI).

Liam Gibson, the development officer for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) in Northern Ireland, believes that the opening of the MSI abortion facility in Belfast in October last year left the Assembly with no choice but to address the threat posed by abortion businesses determined to defy the existing law.

Mr Gibson said: "MSI has long campaigned to make the Abortion Act in Britain even more liberal and then have the amended Act extended to Northern Ireland.

"There are also serious safety concerns regarding MSI. The drugs used to procure medical abortions are extremely dangerous and are known to have caused the deaths of 15 women worldwide, including Manon Jones, an 18 year-old from Bristol and Jesse-Maye Barlow, a 19 year-old from Staines.

Mr Gibson continued: "When questioned before the Assembly's Justice Committee in January, representatives from MSI said that there was nothing to stop them from aborting babies at 18 weeks, 24 weeks or even older. They also admitted that the location of the centre, close to the Europa bus and train station, was chosen to facilitate clients travelling from the Republic to have abortions in Northern Ireland.

"At the same time they made it clear that MSI simply would not tolerate any official oversight of its activities by the government authorities in Northern Ireland. That is a position which the Assembly can't allow to continue and made the introduction of new legislation inevitable", concluded Mr Gibson.

Liam Gibson, SPUC's Northern Ireland development officer, can be contacted on:

SPUC's London HQ can be contacted on 020 7091 7091.

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