Letter: Abortion rights must be constantly defended

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Sir: Those of us who are pro-choice and pro-human rights need to be clear about our support for a Bill of Rights.

Barbara Hewson (Letters, 23 June) puts the case against Supreme Courts ultimately deciding these matters. An equally strong case, however, can be made against the consistent attempts of Parliament to undermine abortion rights over the years.

The truth of the matter is that abortion rights will need to be defended vigilantly and eternally, whatever the system, and no one should pretend otherwise. There is no legal or political fix available on such issues.

A Bill of Rights is no panacea, and its advocates do not put it forward as such - its advantage is to create a formal and accessible structure in which the serious moral and philosophical battles can be fought in the open.

One only needs to study recent rape cases to realise that we certainly need better, more representative judges and better judicial training alongside any rights legislation. However, a society more aware of its rights and its means

of redress provides a better - though not complete - defence against reaction than one which entrusts its fate wholly to the

whim of the governing majority of the day.

Yours etc,


London, NW6

23 June