A major demonstration is expected today in Belfast when Ireland’s first abortion clinic opens.
The Marie Stopes clinic will offer abortions up to nine weeks and is already under fire from anti-abortion protestors.
The Precious Life organization is holding a prayer rally outside the Belfast abortion clinic as part of its “Close the Door on Marie Stopes” campaign.
Bernadette Smyth, head of Precious Life, stated the Marie Stopes clinic was seeking to “bypass the law” on abortion in Northern Ireland. “They are riding roughshod over the views of the vast majority of people here; over our Assembly; and over the authority of our courts,” she said.
She stated that the law “that protects our unborn children in Northern Ireland does not stop doctors from providing all genuine life-saving medical treatment to pregnant women, even in tragic cases when the unborn child unintentionally dies.”
Marie Stopes International stated there had been several bookings for the clinic but asked that no counter protest take place.
“We are aware that some groups may be planning protests against the opening of the centre,” a spokeswoman said. “In response to these planned protests we have been working with the police in order to protect the women and men coming to our centre, and to ensure public safety. We would therefore ask that people consider not organizing or attending any counter protests.
“We would like to thank everyone for the thousands of positive messages we have received from the women and men of Belfast over the past week.”