Shooting at fertility clinic

The Age (Australia)/July 16, 2001
By Hamish Fitzsimmons

A security guard has been shot dead at a fertility clinic in East Melbourne. Police say they've recovered a firearm and have a suspect, a male, in custody. The shooting happened at about 10.15am, inside the Melbourne Fertility Control Clinic on Wellington Parade.

Security guards are usually stationed at the entrance to the clinic, which is often the focus of protests by Right-to-Life groups, who oppose abortions. A bystander said the gunman shot the guard in the face, left the gun at a nearby flower shop and was arrested by police in nearby Bridge Road, Richmond.

Police say the man was arrested near the clinic and is in custody at the Richmond Police station on Bridge Road. The bystander said it was unclear whether the person arrested had been injured, but he was covered in blood. He appeared to be in his late 30s or early 40s.

Police have cordoned off the area around the clinic, located near Jolimont train station. The Fertility Control Clinic, where the shooting took place, was Melbourne's first private clinic for abortions and pregnancy advice when it opened in 1972.

The clinic provides abortions, pregnancy counselling and advice for women. Right-to-Life groups pray outside the clinic on a daily basis, and it is featured on a number of international Right-to-Life websites.

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