Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Keep Church and State out of debate on abortion

Letters to the editor should be sent to: 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB. E-mail: writeback@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Eamonn McCann is to be congratulated on his excellent article (Belfast Telegraph, October 11).

I agree with him that most people can think of at least one circumstance in which they would accept the termination of a pregnancy as a more acceptable solution than continuing it, especially if they themselves, or someone they loved or cared about, was the pregnant woman in question. Abortion does happen in Northern Ireland, but only for foetal abnormality or for serious maternal health issues.

Without any law, such as the 1967 Abortion Act, healthcare workers and patients find themselves in a grey area of legality.

Never mind rolling out the 1967 Act to Northern Ireland as a matter of bringing us into line with the rest of the UK, we should have some legal framework in place for these women and their healthcare providers for their protection.

This issue needs to be decided by either a blanket acceptance of the 1967 Act, or by a referendum based on the views of the majority of people in this province.

Emotive as this issue is, the only real stakeholders from practical and ethical perspectives are the woman herself and her doctor and this issue should be decided privately between them. The State and the Church have no place in that relationship.



A woman and doctor, Belfast

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz