Belfast Telegraph

Abortion provider Marie Stopes denies snubbing Irish women

By Staff Reporter

The UK's biggest abortion provider has denied reports it is turning away Irish women because of huge demand.

A report in the Times claimed Marie Stopes clinics were being forced to prioritise women referred by the NHS.

But in a series of tweets, the organisation denied it was turning away women from Ireland, where abortion is largely illegal.

It said: "This is our busiest time of year for NHS appointments, so we're directing private clients to other clinics if they can be seen sooner.

"This is a temporary measure. We believe getting women access to services quickly is the right thing to do when our wait times are high.

"We'll always support Irish women in Belfast, in England and through our 24/7 helpline, so they can be seen as quickly as possible.

Marie Stopes opened Northern Ireland's only abortion clinic in Belfast in 2012 amid significant protests.

"We're still there," the tweets continued. "We are unwavering in our support for women in Northern Ireland & the Republic of Ireland who are so badly let down by their laws.

"We wish we could treat every woman who needs us in Belfast, but the draconian law means only a few women meet the criteria."

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