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Stopes Clinic is a welcome step

The United Left Alliance welcomes the decision by Marie Stopes International to provide medical abortions at their new Belfast clinic.

This is a first step in making legal abortion available in Ireland. The availability of abortion in Belfast, albeit under restrictive rules, will take some pressure off those Irish women for whom the continuation of a pregnancy would pose a risk to her life or to her physical or mental wellbeing.

Costs however, will remain an issue for many women. So we hope this service will shortly be available as a public service through the NHS in Northern Ireland.

It is high time for the Dail to legislate to provide a legal framework for abortion in the Republic.

We have had two referendums in which the people of Ireland approved the right to abortion when the life of a woman is at risk — the X Case.

Yet we are still waiting for the fourth ‘expert’ group report, which should have been published in June.

Legislation for abortion on the grounds of the X Case is the minimum that is necessary and it must be done now.

Joan Collins TD, Clare Daly TD, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Joe Higgins TD

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