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Why sometimes abortion can be the lesser evil

An abortion is always a sad thing, but for some women it can be the lesser of two great sadnesses.

If a women has mental health problems, a drug or alcohol problem, is suicidal or has been raped, to force her to go through with the pregnancy can be very cruel to the woman. It is also cruel to a child who may be born with foetal alcohol syndrome, drug withdrawal symptoms, or a mother who commits suicide.

And what do you tell a child who is 'in care' and wants to contact their natural father - "No, you can't see your father because he sexually abused your mother and he might sexually abuse you?"

If Precious Life really cares about reducing the number of abortions, they could put all their resources into improving contraceptive services, sex education and a campaign to encourage a responsible attitude to pregnancy - not just among women, but also among men. But working with vulnerable people, or people whose lives are out of control, to try and change their attitudes - that's harder than just waving placards with slogans, isn't it?

Janet Shepperson

Belfast

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