Call for ban on ‘gay’ blood to be lifted

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GLENS Sinn Fein councillor Colum Thompson has expressed his satisfaction at Moyle District Council’s decision to call on the minister for health to lift the life time ban on gay and lesbian blood donations in the North of Ireland.

The motion had been raised in the council chamber by Councillor Thompson who said: “First and foremost, Sinn Fein supports the health of the recipients of any donated blood. Every drop of blood used in the North goes through a rigorous screening process before it can be used. Is Minister Poots saying he is not happy with this screening process?”

The councillor said if the Minister is happy with the screening process then he could only assume he is continuing the life time ban on gay and lesbian blood donations for other reasons.

“In the six counties we do not currently receive enough donated blood to cover our usage, we regularly import blood, in fact in a three month period from November 2011 to January 2012 we imported over one hundred units of blood from England, Scotland and Wales, all countries where there is no ban on blood donations from the gay and lesbian communities.

“We are crying out for blood donations here in the North, we have people willing to donate blood and they are being denied the right to do this.”