Letter from the editor: Emotions raised by abortion issue

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The word abortion is guaranteed to initiate a gamut of emotions.

It’s a subject where the majority of people will have a very strong view: either believing it is something which should be available or totally against it whatever the circumstances.

Legalised since 1967 for cases where a pregnancy has not reached 24 weeks and when certain criteria are met, it is still the subject of controversy more than 50 years later.

There are those who argue that the 24 week limit should be reduced as in 2018 with advances in medical care, babies born at this stage in a pregnancy are now surviving.

Last month a United Nations committee found that the UK was breaching the rights of women in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting their access to abortion.

Its abortion laws are much stricter than elsewhere in the UK and only allowed if a woman’s life is at risk or there is a serious or permanent risk to her mental health.

Anyone who has passed Forth Valley Royal Hospital in recent weeks will have seen a group of people standing outside with placards opposing abortion.

At the weekend those who are pro-choice stood nearby highlighting their beliefs that women have a right to make up their own mind on this issue and that the pro-lifers were an intimidating presence for anyone undergoing the procedure.

Whatever your views, surely no one would want a situation where females of any age feel pressurised to go through with what was known as a ‘backstreet’ abortion rather than in a proper medical facility.