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The Belfast center’s programme director is Dawn Purvis, the former leader of the Progressive Unionist Party, a fringe loyalist party Photo by: Google images

Major security for Northern Ireland’s first abortion clinic in Belfast

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The Belfast center’s programme director is Dawn Purvis, the former leader of the Progressive Unionist Party, a fringe loyalist party Photo by: Google images

Massive security is expected for Northern Ireland’s first ever abortionclinic set to open this Thursday in Belfast.

Groups such as Precious Life have promised that they will protest the clinic in Belfast and will try to get women to consider other options than abortion.

Tracey McNeil, the director of UK and Europe for Marie Stopes, told The Guardian that she had concerns about the safety of staff and clients using their services.

"We have looked very close at security and we have got arrangements in place," she said.

Asked if security guards would be in place at the Belfastclinic, McNeil replied: "Yes, there will, but you know I really hope it's peaceful. People have a right to protest and I respect that.

"What I appeal for is that this is peaceful and that we allow our team members and our clients to come in and out of the clinic in a way that they won't feel threatened or abused. But I will do absolutely everything to protect our team and our clients.

Read more: Belfast's Marie Stopes clinic -- the last thing vulnerable women need is a culture war over abortion

"I am always mindful of the security of our team members and that is something we take very seriously. I would be foolish if I was not concerned about that." McNeil added that Marie Stopes is working with the PSNI to ensure peace and safety in the coming weeks.

The new clinic is expected to draw heavy protests as it makes the option of abortion for Irish women more accessible than ever.

Belfast will become the first spot on the entire island to offer abortion services for women who are up to nine weeks pregnant.

The private clinic, Marie Stopes, will be opened just as theCatholic Churchputs forth its ‘40 weeks for life’ pro-life campaign which will be protesting any law reform in Dublin regarding abortion.

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