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Abortion activist in need of history lesson

Published 24/06/2016

You report (News, June 22 ) that an activist called Lucy Simpson has described the law on abortion in Northern Ireland as "archaic".

She is reported as going on to say that, "we are governed in Northern Ireland by an Act which is dated 1861, which is in the Dark Ages - it's like when dinosaurs were on earth".

One infers from Ms Simpson's belief that dinosaurs were still active during the lifetime of Charles Darwin that she is not any sort of expert in history.

It is, perhaps, unlikely, therefore, that she knows that the Act abolishing the slave trade was passed in 1807, that slavery itself was abolished in 1833 and that the working hours of women and children were reduced by the 1847 Factory Act.

One hopes that she does not wish to see slavery restored, or factory working conditions worsened.

The validity of an Act is not determined solely by the year in which it was passed; and our Victorian ancestors should not be condemned, because they were more ready to defend the right to life of the unborn than some are today.

C D C ARMSTRONG

Belfast

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