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BBC broadcasts live from abortion clinic

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BBC Radio 5 live is broadcasting from an abortion clinic this morning (May 23) in an effort to open up discussion on the issue and speak to some of the people with first hand experience of it.

Presenter Victoria Derbyshire and her team will be interviewing doctors, patients and support workers at a Marie Stopes International centre in the UK, in an attempt to access previously unheard voices affected by abortion.

The live broadcast, from 10am-12pm this morning, is a first for the BBC and represents a bold move by the corporation to "to examine the facts and arguments surrounding the issue of abortion."

Tracey McNeill, Marie Stopes International Director of UK and Europe, said she hoped the programme would help "demystify" abortion and dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding it.

"Over these two hours, women who’ve had - or considered - an abortion and those involved in their care, will have a rare opportunity to tell their own stories and share the reality of abortion, not what people presume it to be," she said.

"The programme is sure to receive a mixed reaction but I truly hope people will respect its intention, and ultimately, that it will support women and their right to choose."

The organisation added that all women interviewed on the programme gave their consent and anyone attending the centre had been given prior notice of the broadcast.

It has been 45 years since abortion was legalised in the UK, by the Abortion Act of 1967. It is legal up to 24 weeks, unless the mother’s health is at risk or the baby is severely disabled.

Listen to the Radio 5 broadcast live here now.

What do you think? Is the programme a good idea and will it fulfill its aim of creating a frank discussion on the issue of abortion? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter.

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