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Abortion decision must rest with mother

Thank you, Stella Wilson, for your comments (Write Back, April 25) on my letter of April 20. I agree with some of what you say, particularly your opening opinion that I have painted "a bleak view of pregnancy".

It was my intention to do so, because although millions of mothers would rightly disagree with me, I am attempting to speak for the many thousands who do not see pregnancy as a happy process and are running the risk of criminalisation and ostracisation by our outdated laws and narrow-minded religiosity.

Stella speaks of her own happy circumstances and experiences. I am a family man and have shared in the joy of pregnancy and birth, as well as the heartbreak of miscarriages. What I ask is that people (and the law) accept the right of a woman to seek a termination.

The suggestion that contraception is the answer is not correct, because no method is 100% reliable.

As to the grounds on which I argue the primacy of the mother's feelings, the answer is simple: an early embryo does not have complex human experience or feelings. The mother must do what she feels is best for herself and others around her (including the embryo, for that matter).

It is the mother who must take the difficult decision over continuation or termination, which is, indeed, a difficult decision to take - whatever her religious beliefs (or lack of them).

Obviously, Stella does not agree that religion has no place in the law, but if that is the case, I would ask which religions? Should we accept Sharia law? It is not just Christians who fall under the law of the land.

It is not just Christianity that gives human beings dignity. Any sensible philosophy will do the same (humanism, for example).

Indeed, even a passing knowledge of the history of Christianity, right up to the present day, shows much that is unsavoury and lacking in human dignity.

Legislating sensibly on termination of pregnancy forces no one to do anything they do not wish to do. It will certainly not lead to the end of the human race.


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