Letter: Real `pro-life' agenda more than abortion

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Sir: The last British national abortion survey conducted by MORI in 1995 asked whether voters agreed or disagreed with the principle of "abortion on request", which goes beyond what is permitted under the present Abortion Act. Sixty-six per cent strongly agreed with this or tended to agree with this. Twenty-four per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed with this.

The Prolife Alliance, which is apparently to put up candidates at the next election, will draw its votes from the 15 per cent that declared they "strongly" disagreed with abortion on request of the pregnant woman. Most even of these religious extremists will prefer not to vote on a purely fundamentalist platform, however, since they have views on taxation, Europe and other subjects.

Since I believe that compelling women to have unwanted babies is both socially undesirable and morally evil, I very much hope this religious faction will put up candidates and that this is not just one of their usual publicity stunts. This will demonstrate once and for all that their actual capacity to attract votes even in favourable constituencies will amount to maybe 3 per cent of all those voting, thus placing them firmly in the lunatic fringe of electoral contenders.

MADELEINE SIMMS

London NW11

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