A CLINIC giving women non-judgemental advice about unplanned pregnancies and abortions has opened in Preston.

Run by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the new consultation centre aims to give women an informed choice about whether to go ahead with the pregnancy or opt for an abortion.

BPAS regional manager Lynne Wheeler said: "Each year hundreds of women from this area seek a private abortion and are forced to travel because there is no facility in the town.

"This is already a stressful time for women, and BPAS decided to make it a priority to establish a centre here."

She added: "Visitors will be supported by non-judgemental staff in total confidence.

"We are committed to the philosophy that it is a woman's right to choose.

"If, having explored all the options, a woman decides she wants to end her pregnancy, that decision will be respected."

The BPAS, a non-profit-making, charitable organisation, was established in 1968.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.