Letter: Doctor who fought abortion

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The Independent Online
Sir: Mrs P L Cohen (letter, 12 December) does not tell the full story about Dr Aleck Bourne.

Yes, in 1938 the late Dr Bourne was charged under Section 58 of the 1861 Offences against the Person Act with performing an illegal abortion on a woman who had been raped by a group of soldiers. He did it to save the sanity of the young woman but in no way meant it to open the floodgates to the present abortion laws. He pleaded not guilty and was acquitted.

By 1967 Dr Bourne had become so appalled by the results of the case that he was one of the founding members of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and served on the executive committee until his death. He totally opposed the 1967 Abortion Act and predicted that the legalisation of abortion would lead to "the greatest holocaust in history". How prophetic his words have turned out to be after more than 4 million abortions, 98 per cent done on social grounds.


Chairman, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

Aberdeen Branch