Abortion clinic opens in Belfast…

NORTHERN Ireland is to get its first abortion clinic next week. In one of the biggest stories of our generation – and one which will unite hardline Protestants and Catholics – it’s reported that Marie Stopes will open for business in Belfast next Thursday, with the help of former PUP leader Dawn Purvis. The organisation says it will operate within the framework of the law here, but that will do little to assuage the anger of opponents, who will see it as the first step towards greater liberalisation here. And with the new clinic guaranteed to attract women – and political protest of a different kind in Northern Ireland – both here and from the Republic, there is an international dimension to the surprise that means this is legal news that will have consequences for years to come.