1 OCTOBER 1983, Page 18


Sir: Olivia O'Leary's article on the Irish abortion referendum (17 September) was remarkable for its omissions. It omitted the fact that the European Parliament resolved to force abortion on demand upon Member States in a debate where MEPs referred to 'bringing pressure through Community instruments' on reluctant countries (Debate on the Resolution on the Position of Women in the European Community, 10-11 February 1981).

It omitted the text of the Irish Amendment, which guarantees respect for unborn life 'as far as is practicable' — thus continuing to permit operations for uterine cancer and ectopic pregnancy, which are not illegal in Eire. The text was publicly approved by Dr FitzGerald in 1982 before the election which brought him power - - his views appeared to change after this. Many Irish Protestants would resent the implication that to oppose abortion is to be Catholic; even Ulster Unionists (including Messrs Molyneaux, Paisley, Powell and Ross) are on record as voting to restrict abortion (Hansard, Corrie Bill debate, 1980). Catholic-bashing has been exploited by pro-abortionists across Europe and in America, where abortionist-turned-anti Dr Bernard Nathanson blew the gaff by describing in his book Aborting America (Doubleday, 1979) how the movement 'stirred up anti-Catholic prejudices and pontificated about "the necessity for separation of Church and State" deliberately recruiting feminists and radicals in order to exploit them politically. Fortunately the Irish people are none so thick as racist jokes imply.

Theresa Croshaw

24 Tryan Road, Nuneaton, Warwicks