One Small Step for Abortion Equality in the UK

Posted on 10.12.2012 by Chantal

Somedays we could all some good news, right?

The first private (not state-run) abortion clinic in Northern Ireland will open its doors next week. The clinic, owned and operated by Marie Stopes International (think of it as the UK's version of Planned Parenthood), will provide medication abortion procedures up to 9 weeks of pregnancy. Despite the fact that abortion is legal in England, Scotland, and Wales up to 24 weeks gestation, in Northern Ireland abortion is only legal in cases of life endangerment to the woman or permanent physical or mental harm.

The folks at Marie Stopes have allegedly pledged to obey the laws regarding abortion. And even if they don't have much to work with, I'd imagine that the effects will be widespread. Up until this point, women in Northern Ireland who are seeking abortion services have mostly been forced to leave the country.

I can only hope that this the start of a larger effort to expand reproductive health services in the area and to push for fewer restrictions and greater access!

For more info, check out BBC News and Marie Stopes International.