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An American anti-abortion healthcare provider is planning to open a clinic in Belfast, the BBC has learned. Stanton Healthcare aims to have a clinic operating in the city centre by early 2015.

Representatives from Stanton Healthcare recently visited Belfast, and the BBC understands that they have identified premises on Great Victoria Street in the city as a site for the clinic. The facility would therefore be close to Belfast’s Marie Stopes clinic, which has been open since 2012.

The BBC understands that Stanton Healthcare plans to offer pregnancy counselling and also medical facilities like ultrasound scans. The firm has claimed that over 90% of what they describe as “abortion-vulnerable women” who have ultrasound scans at their Boise clinic choose to give birth.

However, its staff are working closely with the Northern Ireland-based anti-abortion organisation, Precious Life. Bernadette Smyth from Precious Life welcomed Stanton Healthcare’s plans. “We would hope that women in crisis pregnancy would be given free ultrasound, free pregnancy tests and support,” she told BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme. “We want to provide a better service that’s not available here.”


Stanton Healthcare to open anti-abortion clinic in Belfast (Robbie Meredith, BBC News NI)

Previously: Pure Hatstand

Ultra Sound


Meanwhile, On Great Victoria Street, Belfast

23 thoughts on “Sound

  1. Undertow

    OH NO BROADSHEET!! Somebody who was going to have an abortion might actually change their mind & have the baby instead. WHAT NOW!!!

    1. well

      The objective of these “clinics” though is disinfo and fud, thats why they put them in proximity to other clinics that offer women all their choices.

        1. missred

          It isn’t meaningless, that’s the whole point. They have these clinics in the US (some states with compulsory ultrasounds before you are allowed an abortion), for the sheer reason of manipulating women’s choices. They are purposely putting it near the Marie Stopes out of pure spite and arrogance. An example of an organisation that has way too much money on its hands

          1. Grimes

            Marie Stopes requires you to have an ultrasound before you have an abortion too, for your own health and safety and to check the stage of pregnancy, not to dissuade you from going through with it, but they aren’t going to force you into it either. This clinic IS unnecessary.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      Em, do you hear that whooooooshing sound Undertow?

      That’s you missing the idea behind “choice” of ones own body determination rather than being dictated too by out dated religious laws. Wanting “choice” does mean these clinics can set up, but you knew that deep down didn’t you…. at least, if you are a voter, I hope t’feck you did.

  2. Serendipity

    Aren’t those things free in the North anyway?
    Horrendous clip you linked to there, BS. What a vile woman Ms Smyth is.

    1. well

      For it?, do you think an anti choice group that harasses the workers of these other clinics is setting up their own “clinic” alongside the real ones because they support reproductive choice?

  3. Ultach

    I really have limited knowledge of the issues involved but just happen to know people on the pro-life/anti-abortion side (or “anti-choice” if you prefer) so I am biased in that direction. I am also a male. You appear to me to be fairly strongly committed in the other direction, Well. I have a few questions:
    Which anti-choice group are you referring to, Stanton or Precious Life?
    Are Stanton breaking the law by setting up their clinic?
    Are Stanton providing an alternative to Marie Stopes?
    Have any member of Stanton’s staff been convicted of harassment in Belfast? (I know there was a court case involving Precious Life and the manager of Marie Stopes)

    1. missred

      A few answers:
      – Anti-choice group referred to here are the Belfast-based, vomit-inducingly named Precious Life.
      – Don’t know if they’re breaking the law by trying to set up shop, but there are enough assholes in Stormont to provisionally approve this.
      – Marie Stopes is a private clinic mostly used for STI testing and other such services, rather than abortion in its NI branch. The criteria for qualifying is very narrow up north and so the medical abortion pill probably doesn’t get prescribed as much as one might think. Stanton are an anti-choice group and so cannot technically be an alternative. Marie Stopes provides counselling services already, just not with a manipulative bias to turn women off abortion.
      – Stanton are an American group who haven’t yet set up shop. So it is early days to be pre-empting fighting over whose turf belongs to who on Great Victoria Street. (it wouldn’t surprise me though). Yes, Bernie Smyth from Precious Life (ugh can’t type that without retching) was convicted of continual harassment of manager Dawn Purvis (and also allegedly kicked a PSNI officer who was trying to move her on).

    2. Lorcan Nagle

      A big part of the issue is that Stanton and similar groups deliberately misrepresent facts, and use pressure tactics to convince women not to go through with an abortion when it might be the best choice for their health.

    3. well

      “I really have limited knowledge of the issues involved”
      Why are you commenting and telling women what they should do with with their bodies on an issue you p admit to being ignorant off.

      “i just happen to know people on the pro-life/anti-abortion side (or “anti-choice” if you prefer) so I am biased in that direction.”
      So you have an emotional attachment to that and that trumps it?

      as for the other questions missred answered them perfectly.

      1. Ultach

        “Why are you commenting and telling women what they should do with with their bodies on an issue you p admit to being ignorant off.”
        I’m asking questions and am open to persuasion. Yes, I have my own personal biases and opinions, ignorant and ill-informed as they are. I’m not telling anyone what they should do on this issue. (Just don’t start me on the Irish language, I tend go a bit frothy mouthy omniscient on that one)
        “So you have an emotional attachment to that and that trumps it?”
        I do have an emotional bias but I hope I didn’t imply that that gives anything I say any precedence. It trumps only my cloudy thinking inside my own red head.
        “as for the other questions missred answered them perfectly”
        Thanks, missred. You went above and beyond.

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