Letter: Abortion: a choice of poll questions

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Sir: Why are Dawn Primarolo and her colleagues (letter, 7 September) so fiercely defensive of liberal abortion if they are correct in their interpretation of opinion polls?

By promoting polls which hinge on the word "choice", the pro-abortion lobby has repeatedly claimed that pro-life MPs are out of touch with public opinion. When asked on what grounds they believe abortion should be allowed, the majority of people reject abortion on demand. Only 31 per cent of respondents to a Gallup poll in 1993 agreed that abortion should be available on demand. In August this year an NOP poll for the Sunday Times showed that 64 per cent of respondents thought that Britain's abortion law should be reviewed in the light of medical advances. Only 26 per cent thought that the present law was adequate.

Jane Roe of the Abortion Law Reform Association has admitted that pro- abortionists use the word "choice" because fewer people favour "abortion on request" than "choice", and "if you say 'abortion on demand' it's fewer still". (Radio 4, 2 May 1996)

In the light of evidence on foetal sentience and the recent selective killing of a twin, opposition to the parliamentary campaign to restore a meaningful degree of protection to unborn children is becoming ever harder for the pro-abortionists to justify.

JOHN SMEATON

National Director

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

London SW1

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