Mother's rights take precedence
REGARDING the point raised by Hugh Gildea (Write Back, January 8) as to the "one central aspect of the abortion debate that has always been that equal rights are afforded to the mother and the unborn child" when "the mother is at risk from the child being born", one consideration that could possibly tip the moral balance is that the mother is definitely alive, whereas the as-yet-unborn child is only a potential life.
If this distinction is accepted, then the mother's life must take precedence to that of the foetus at least until birth.
This is not to advocate abortion where there is a lesser danger to the mother, but might justify it in exceptional circumstances.
MARTIN D STERN
Salford, Greater Manchester