Christians right to condemn abortion

Alan Hinnrichs (Letters, 29 April) fosters the notion that Christians are obsessed with abortion – a common attack on Christians and their faith. Not only is his attack tragic for the unborn, but short-sighted – if a Christian does not stand firm for the weakest in our society, what sort of a Christian are they?

Christians are not obsessed with abortion, but they do care passionately about human life. The attack also implies, either directly or indirectly, that abortion is the only political, moral and sociological subject that Christians care about.

Mr Hinnrichs then uses the tired argument that we would return to “the days of the backstreet alley” if abortion were made illegal. This is disingenuous. The problem is not where the abortion takes place, but that it takes place at all. When it does, a baby is killed.

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There were illegal abortions and, of course, there would be illegal abortions again if abortion was made an offence, but that reflects the nature of the crime and law-breaking, not whether abortion is right or wrong. Murder and theft are illegal, but they still occur.

Finally, Mr Hinnrichs makes the ludicrous claim that the blame for Scotland’s high abortion rate “rests entirely with religious conservatives who oppose the teaching of proper sex education and contraception in schools”. Would Mr Hinnrichs care to enlighten us as to what exactly “proper sex education” is?

In my humble opinion, the reason for such a high abortion rate is actually due to society, as a whole, turning its back on the Church and her teachings and instead believing that not all life is precious. From conception to natural death, life is precious. Is abortion a choice? No, it’s the taking of a pure, innocent, unborn life. Christians understand that – and it’s a tragedy that they are too often dismissed and ignored.

Martin Conroy


East Lothian

THE case in which the Catholic midwives who invoked the conscience clause of the 1967 Abortion Act (your report, 25 April) when they refused to perform administrative duties relating to abortions won the support of the appeal judges may have done more harm than good.

The rights of the patient must take priority over the religious beliefs of nurses and midwives.

Obstetric care has included recognition of the right to an abortion since 1967. Anyone taking up a career in nursing should have been aware of that right and should have chosen their career path accordingly.

The conscience clause made sense as a transitional measure in 1967 to cater for those nurses and midwives who began their careers when abortion was illegal.

But that clause makes no sense now, when people have had ample time to adjust their career choices. It should be scrapped.

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Anyone working in obstetric care today should accept that abortion is legal and that patients have a right to that service.

We do not want what happened to Savita Halappanavar – who died in Ireland because she needed an abortion when her pregnancy miscarried, but hospital staff refused to carry out the procedure – to happen here.

Les Reid

Morton Street