Matter of choice

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Richard Lucas’s assertion (Letters, 27 April) that the anti-abortion movement is non- religious is just plain wrong.

Most of the anti-abortion groups in the UK – such as the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, Precious Life and Comment on Reproductive Ethics – are front organisations for the Catholic Church and other fundamentalist churches.

Mr Lucas is correct that midwives enter the profession to help woman get through childbirth. Unfortunately, in some cases that means a termination must be performed.

If we were to make abortion illegal we would go back to the days of the backstreet alley.

Midwives know what the job involves; if it conflicts with their ethics, then they should seek alternative employment.

I do think that the abortion rate in Scotland is too high, but the blame for that rests entirely with religious conservatives who oppose the teaching of proper sex education and contraception in schools.

Alan hinnrichs

Gillespie Terrace

Dundee

Alan Hinnrichs (Letters, 26 April) calls the midwives’ request not to deal with patients undergoing abortion, on the basis of conscience “the most outrageous breach of truth and morality”.

Putting religious beliefs aside, there are many people who believe that the ultimate value of human life extends to pre-natal life; that life starts at conception. The logical extension of that understanding is it is morally indefensible to take that innocent life.

There are two opposing views on this whole issue: those who support the view that the rights of the mother trump the rights of the child, and those who support the view that the rights of the child also need to be considered. These views are incompatible with each other, and so we have a moral dilemma that cannot be resolved in our society.

It is fair that the law acknowledges these irreconcilable understandings and allows people to act on their personal consciences. This is called “freedom of conscience”, and is built into the Abortion Act.

Alasdair HB Fyfe

Mearns Road Clarkston, Glasgow