Letter: Abortion in Ulster

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The Independent Culture
Abortion in Ulster

Sir: Gerry Adams's acknowledge-ment of the reality of abortion in Irish women's lives is very welcome. (You Ask the Questions, 17 February). He pointed out that some 5,000 women travel to Britain from the South of Ireland each year for abortion. In addition, however, there are the forgotten 1,600 women from the North who can avail themselves of the 1967 Abortion Act only by travelling to Britain.

Successive British governments have ignored them. Now Sinn Fein has made it clear that it believes abortion should be available "where a woman's mental and physical well-being is at risk". The Progressive Unionist Party supports the availability of abortion at the request of the woman.

Sinn Fein and the PUP represent working class communities where women with an unwanted pregnancy have only a few weeks to get pounds 400-pounds 500 together to cover the cost of travel and a private operation. Many are forced to continue unwanted pregnancies.

Isn't it time that women in Northern Ireland are given the rights that women in Britain have had since the 1960s?



Alliance for Choice, Derry