Letter: Access to abortion

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Sir: Under clause 2 of the 1967 Abortion Act a woman has to persuade her doctor that continuation of the pregnancy would be of significant risk to her physical or mental health. It is not the doctor's role to enforce personal moral inclinations on the patient, but simply to satisfy himself that sufficient maturity of thought has brought about the decision. The moral responsibility of the decision lies with the mother.

Sadly some of the medical profession feel that their own moral conviction should be enforced on the patients and refuse access to this treatment. Others feel that the NHS should not carry the cost of this service, but the majority of us do allow the mother to own her decision and retain some dignity. Hence, in the majority of cases, abortion is already available at request.

Frank Dobson's efforts to streamline the process for women are common sense and show he has a depth of understanding of both the doctor's roles and the mother's dilemma.

Dr KIERAN McCORMACK

London W6

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