You REPORT (Catholic Herald, 2 February) that the Pope recently afforded Ann Widdecombe the privilege of a 20minute audience instead of the usual 5-minute one for "spiritual guidance".
It is to be hoped that part of that guidance pointed out that no part of the following of Jesus could have "informed her conscience" to permit and support the barbaric practice of shackling pregnant women prisoners while they are in labour.
Reading and meditation on the story of the woman taken in adultery, the Samaritan woman at the well and Mary Magdalene would prove that only too well.
Miss Widdecombe is of course unmarried and may not fully appreciate the pain, distress, tiredness and indignity suffered during labour. I cannot imagine any woman who has given birth would agree that anyone could possibly escape at that time.
Nevertheless the lady should have had a woman's innate sensitivity and Christian calling to make her abhor the practice.