UK’s largest abortion provider, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), has opened a new facility in Clapham, London which is offering consultations and medical abortions.
In a statement from BPAS development manager Paula Abberley, it is explained that BPAS Clapham “was opened to maintain access to abortion for the women of South East London following the closure of BPAS Streatham”.
She also explained that the clinic is a ‘satellite’ of BPAS London East in Stratford, which provides conscious sedation treatments up to 13+6 weeks gestation. They also “work closely with BPAS Richmond, which provides treatments up to 23+6 gestation”.
Controversy at Streatham abortion centre
The BPAS clinic in Streatham, South London and also known as ‘The Lodge’, was the second-largest late-term abortion centre in the UK, which performed over 1,200 abortions on unborn children at 20 weeks or over in the last three years. It closed in February 2021.
The closure came in the aftermath of a series of controversies and scandals at the clinic. In 2019, a surprise inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found 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.
‘Treated like an animal’
Those who have attended the clinic have 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 to like dogs”.
A pro-life group was present outside the Streatham clinic for over 25 years offering those entering The Lodge an alternative to abortion. This has been part of a larger pro-life presence outside abortion centres in the South London borough of Lambeth, including a 40 Days for Life vigil that has operated outside the UK’s largest abortion centre, MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes) South London, in Brixton. The Brixton centre (Raleigh Gardens) performed 7,481 abortions in 2019.
A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is appalling that BPAS, an organisation that has evidently treated women poorly, has been allowed to open up another clinic targeting women in South London after there was a series of controversies and scandals at their previous clinic in the area”.
“While they claim to be the ‘the voice of the women’, BPAS in fact have a track record of unsafe practices in London and across the country, and regularly lobby in favour of extreme proposals, such as abortion up to birth, which is precisely the opposite of what most women want. In fact, only 1% of women want the current 24-week limit in the UK extended, with 70% wanting it lowered”.