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Dangers abound when liberalising abortion law

Do the 54% of SDLP activists quoted in your survey (Belfast Telegraph, Nov 17) as wanting a relaxation of Northern Ireland's abortion law to "make it easier to obtain an abortion here" actually know the terms of the existing Northern Ireland law?

As it stands the law here allows abortion in cases where the mother's life is at risk or where there is a serious threat to her physical or mental health. The existing law covers the so-called "hard cases" of rape or incest as it permits abortion on the grounds of there being a serious threat to the mother's mental health. This law is sufficient.

It is surprising that activists in a so-called pro-life party like the SDLP are not aware of the dangers of liberalising our abortion law.

The law on the UK mainland was liberalised in 1967 with absolutely disastrous results - on average 160,000 abortions a year now, and many of them for social reasons. The SDLP should remain true to their message of social democracy, ie. justice for all. Human life begins at conception and everything should be done to protect the lives of the mother and the unborn child.

The party needs to stress this message instead of diluting it.

BRIAN RITCHIE

Lisburn

Belfast Telegraph

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