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Women must have same abortion rights

I would like to respond to letters about abortion in your paper (Write Back, February 20).

Although there are many different types of contraception available, many women find themselves having an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.

If they lived in England, Scotland or Wales, they would have the option of abortion. But not here.

Abortion in Northern Ireland is not legal, except in the most extreme circumstances.

The reason for this is because the 1967 Abortion Act has never been extended to here. Politicians, especially the DUP, have always claimed there was no demand for it. Rubbish. Tell that to the 1,500 women from Northern Ireland who travel to England every year to have a pregnancy terminated.

Deciding to have an abortion is one of the most difficult decisions a woman could make and all women should have the right to decide for themselves.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has repeatedly criticised the Government for not providing abortion rights in Northern Ireland and the Department of Health is acting unlawfully in failing to issue guidance on what abortion services are available and in what circumstances.

Abortion should be freely available to all women in Northern Ireland, following a period of mandatory counselling.

The time is overdue for women here to have the same rights as women in the rest of the UK.


Portaferry, Co Down

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