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Belfast City Council to consider if it can regulate display of 'graphic abortion images'

Belfast City Council is to consider whether it can regulate the display of graphic abortion images in the city centre

BELFAST City Council is to consider whether it can regulate the display of graphic abortion images in the city centre.

The council agreed to consider the issue following a motion from Green Party councillor Áine Groogan.

It came after an anti-abortion group was criticised for displaying graphic images at an information stall in the city centre.

At a meeting of the council's strategic policy and resources committee, Ms Groogan brought forward a motion asking for the images to be regulated, adding that the city should be "safe, fair and inclusive for all".

"The council agrees that the public display of graphic abortion imagery in our city centre conflicts with this ambition due to the distress that it can cause to people who have suffered miscarriage and undertakes to investigate whether the display of such signs can be regulated lawfully, either by the council or by another body, to ensure that those who have suffered miscarriages can continue to use and enjoy our city centre without fear of being re-traumatised," the motion read.

Councillors later agreed that a report should be written to address the issue.

Ms Groogan said yesterday that Belfast city centre should be a "welcoming, safe and inclusive" space.

Read More: Queen's and Ulster University 'will amend teaching' to reflect any changes in abortion legislation

"The regulation proposal recognises that freedom of expression should not cause distress and harm to others," she said.

"Councillors from a cross-section of parties supported the motion to bring forward options for regulating these images. I'm hopeful that this can be progressed as soon as possible."

Q&A: What will abortion reform actually mean for north?

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