29 JULY 1966, Page 12

SIR,—It is possible, as Christopher Hollis says (Letters, July 22),

that there may still be a large

number of illegal abortions after the present Bill becomes law. This will depend on its interpreta- tion. But if the clause relating to the woman's capacity as a mother were deleted, the number of such illegal abortions would be much higher. The recent NOP survey showed that 41 per cent of the women who have illegal abortions do so because their families are already too large. Thus any Bill which did not allow abortion on this ground would have a very limited effect. Any new legislation, if it is not to fall into immediate disrepute, must pro- vide a solution for a majority of those women who at present terminate their pregnancies by illegal means.