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Alliance and 'party politics' over abortion

Published 29/02/2016

In response to Stewart Dickson (Write Back, February 25), I would suggest that he read my letter (February 23) again.

I did not question his integrity in bringing forward his amendments. I questioned the motives of a significant section of his party - Alliance Assembly candidates - who would seek to play cheap party politics with women's suffering and are on record as wanting to legislate further on abortion, introducing the absolute right of a woman to choose.

Mr Stewart appears out of touch with this significant rump within his party.

The outflowing of these aspirations are far-reaching. The 1967 Act requires two medical practitioners' consent.

In 2014 there were 201,576 abortions carried out in Britain - 98% of these were conducted under section C of that Act, relating exclusively to "injury to the mental health of the pregnant mother". His colleagues would seek to relax this even further.

Because someone disagrees with Mr Stewart's amendments does not mean they don't care, or want a compassionate solution for managing these tragic circumstances.

It is the belief of expert clinicians that unfortunate families in similar circumstances to Sarah's can be managed compassionately and satisfactorily through a set of strong agreed guidelines. What affords Mr Stewart - and others in his party - the right to think they know better? People like myself care deeply and want a compassionate solution as well. However, they also care passionately about the rights of the most vulnerable in our society who cannot speak for themselves.

These amendments were ill-thought-out and unnecessary and, if adopted, would have provided a key for his Alliance colleagues to unlock their broader agenda.



Belfast Telegraph

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