An abortion clinic in Brighton that performed over 3,100 abortions in 2019 will be closing later in the year.
According to the latest available data, the BPAS Wistons Clinic in Brighton, run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, was responsible for 3,149 abortions in 2019, making it the 12th largest abortion clinic in England and Wales in terms of the total number of abortions performed. The official figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show that a total of 9,379 abortions have taken place at the clinic between 2017 and 2019.
The closure of the clinic has been confirmed by a senior member of Brighton & Hove City Council.
Controversy at Brighton abortion clinic
The closure comes after a 2018 Care Quality Commission (CQC) report found that the abortion clinic failed to “notify CQC when serious incidents occurred”, which is a legal requirement under the Health and Social Care Act.
The report also found that patients at the clinic might be at risk because there was no system to summon medical assistance whilst in the treatment rooms.
The clinic was found to be putting girls between the ages of 13 and 18 at risk, with the report highlighting that: “Staff did not have any training to support their role in an emergency with young people. Staff did not receive training to specifically recognise the signs, and act appropriately, if the condition of a young woman aged between 13 and 18 years[‘] health starts to deteriorate”.
A series of other issues at the clinic were found by the Care Quality Commission.
There were a series of vigils of pro-lifers outside the abortion clinic offering assistance and support to women who were considering an abortion over the past decade and even before. This has included vigils held by 40 Days for Life, which completed its last vigil at the clinic on Sunday 28th March 2021.
Closure of BPAS Streatham abortion clinic
Earlier this year, the second largest late-term abortion clinic in the UK also closed. The clinic in Streatham South London, which performed over 1,200 abortions of unborn children at 20 weeks or over in the last three years, had been mired in scandal as the CQC had found a series incompetent staff who had not completed life support training and “not all equipment was in good working order”.
The CQC noted that two serious incidents and 76 clinical incidents were reported at the clinic between April 2018 and April 2019. However, this is likely only the tip of the iceberg as inspectors discovered that “staff did not always report incidents as they felt there was a blame culture”.
One staff member even disclosed to an inspector, “if you raise concerns then you have to face the consequences. I have learnt to keep quiet”.
Alarmingly, only nine of the clinic’s twenty-four members of staff had received training to spot and treat sepsis, which is the leading cause of maternal death in the UK.
Those who attended the clinic offered further insight into the clinic, particularly in regard to the treatment they received from staff. One client said: “you get treated like an animal” and another offered a similar sentiment saying: “the women were treated like complete animals, herded like sheep and spoke [sic] to like dogs”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “The second closure of an abortion clinic in the UK in a matter of months, somewhere that ends large numbers of innocent lives, can only be a good thing. As we have seen so consistently with the abortion industry before, expanding access to abortion appears to be their one and only concern. The provision and promotion of DIY abortions, despite their demonstrable danger for women, as well as the poor standards maintained in the clinic in Brighton, prove this”.
“It’s important we give a special thanks to all those individuals who have offered those entering this facility positive alternatives to abortion over the years. Thank you for your courageous work, and we hope the ending of lives at this location will free time up for you to help more women and unborn children at the many other abortion centres that sadly still continue to operate elsewhere in the UK”.