Bradshaw says it is vital Marie Stopes services restored as soon as possible

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said it is vital abortion services at restored as soon as possible after Marie Stopes confirmed it had suspended abortions at its Belfast clinic for those under 18 and ‘vulnerable’ women.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the organisation confirmed restrictions imposed by the Care Quality Commission in England will also apply at its Belfast centre. It follows the Commission raising concerns about the Marie Stopes corporate and clinical governance arrangements and patient safety protocols in specific areas.

Ms Bradshaw said the issues raised were concerning.

“The Care Quality Commission is right to suspend services if it feels there are worries over any operations at Marie Stopes. However, it is of the utmost importance those services are restored as soon as possible, once any concerns are allayed.

“It is clear the priority in all this needs to be those women who wish to access abortion services at Marie Stopes. The organisation provides a vital service for those in need and without it, scores of women will be forced to take the hazardous journey to Great Britain, often at great financial and emotional cost.

“Once again, this shows the issue of abortion in Northern Ireland is one that needs clarified urgently. Abortion is a conscience issue for Alliance but I believe the weight of public opinion shows the current law here around it is a nonsense. What is required is a fundamental change in the law to give women the help needed.”

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