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It's only right for public to have debate on abortion

I have to take issue with some of the points raised by Christopher Eames (Write Back, December 3) on the question of abortion in Northern Ireland.

Mr Justice Horner, who presided over a recent court case on abortion law in Northern Ireland, is quoted as saying: "One of the besetting sins of Northern Ireland society is thought to be the need for one section of the community with genuinely held political, religious, or moral beliefs not just to have an argument with another section of the community who hold equally strong beliefs and to seek to persuade them by the force of its argument, but to then try to enforce its beliefs upon that other section, often with the support of criminal sanctions."

Surely, the judge is actually summarising the nature of the democratic process, whereby one group of people put forward their sincerely held opinions and debate them with other people who hold differing sincerely held opinions and then a consensus is reached by a democratic vote?

Surely, it is a good thing to put forward sincerely held views and then have a debate and make democratic laws for the governing of society? Where is the besetting sin here?

The interesting thing about the subject of abortion in Northern Ireland is that it is the one issue which overwhelmingly unites people here on both sides of the community in their opposition to it. It is not a question of one side of the community here seeking to force abortion laws on the other side of the community.

The fact that human life begins at conception means that the unborn child deserves protection in law. The lives of both mother and child must be protected.


Lisburn, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph


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