Letter: Abortion can be a loving solution

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The Independent Online
Sir: While I agree with much of Cardinal Hume's article ("A manifesto for moral and spiritual problems", 6 May), may I express my anger at his attempt to equate abortion today with slavery in the 19th century?

Slavery was immoral because it involved the capture, transportation and exploitation, often with great cruelty, of large numbers of unwilling people for the commercial advantage of relatively few. To the best of my knowledge there is no commercial organisation today which forcibly seizes women, carries them off, impregnates them and then aborts their foetuses for the sake of profit.

There must be few people who are genuinely "pro-abortion" in the sense that they would recommend that women experience abortion as a pastime, diversion or occupation. (It is probably the worst of all methods of birth- control.) There are many, like me, who accept that it is sometimes (in cases such as rape, foetal abnormality or acute social need) the best of a number of bad options.

May I, as an ordinary back-pew Anglican, presume to remind Cardinal Hume that we are recommended to love the Lord, our God, with all our hearts, souls and minds? If we use our minds we will recognise that there are occasions in this imperfect world when accepting a distasteful option such as abortion is the most loving solution to a problem. I suggest that a Christian society would do all in its power to shield women from the need to seek abortions. (By promoting wider knowledge of contraception and responsibility in sexual activity.) It would certainly not condemn women who feel that they have no choice nor those who seek to help them.

GEORGE GARNER

Millway, Devon

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