Allister keeps the pressure on Abortion Clinic
In addition to tabling a Priority Oral Question to the Health Minister for Monday in the Assembly – which the Speaker has accepted– TUV Leader Jim Allister has tabled the following written Questions to the Minister:-
To ask the Minister of Heath, Social Services and Public Safety given that the RQIA remit appears to focus on the quality of services provided, how well is it presently suited, if at all, to monitor the operation of the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic.
To ask the Minister of Heath, Social Services and Public Safety a) how will the minister ensure that the number of abortions carried out each year in the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic in Belfast is publicly known; b) how will the basis for each abortion be recorded and monitored; and c) how will it be publicly demonstrated that it is operating wholly within the law.
To ask the Minister of Heath, Social Services and Public Safety does the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic in Belfast require to be registered under Article 12 of The Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, and a) is it so registered; b) since when; and c) are there any conditions attached to its registration.
To ask the Minister of Heath, Social Services and Public Safety what regulations pursuant to Article 23 of The Health and Personal Social Services (Quality, Improvement and Regulation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 apply to the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic in regard to the management and control of the operations of the establishment.
Commenting Jim Allister said, “It seems to me there is a distinct lacuna in available regulation to sufficiently monitor and hold to account the Marie Stopes Abortion Clinic. RQIA appears to be limited to assessing the quality of the services provided, whereas what we need to know is the number of abortions carried out, the alleged justification for each and whether the law is being observed.
“However, it is vital that such regulatory provisions as do exist are rigorously implemented. In this regard I wish to establish if the clinic has met its obligations to register with RQIA (as required by Article 12 of the 2003 Order), because if it has not then a criminal offence could be committed if it proceeded to open, in that as an independent clinic it would seem to be covered by the requirement to register by virtue of Article 8(1)(C) of the legislation establishing RQIA. Thus, by my tabled questions I am seeking to flush out the factual position on registration, as well as getting a focus on how this establishment will be monitored and the legal changes needed to definitively ensure such.
“I will continue to pursue these issues.”