Page 4, 24th August 1979

24th August 1979
Page 4
Page 4, 24th August 1979 — Abortion rights

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Your Correspondent

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Abortion rights

SPUC did not ask hospital chaplains 'In condemn or condone' (August 3): SPUC did not ask the chaplains to act as 'investigative agents': SPUC did not ask the chaplains to join the Society.

Since, according to your report at least, these are the points which concern the Church of England Hospital Chaplaincies Council about SPUC"s proposed 'network of hospital chaplains,' and since they are all unfounded. I, as a member of the Church of England, now hope and expect that the Council will accept SPUC's proposals with gratitude.

If the Council had considered the proposals properly and had checked with SPUC in the first place, they might have realised from the outset that what was being offered was specialised knowledge and expertise in an admittedly difficult field. for those chaplains who wished to take advantage of it. The churlish rejection of this offer might then have been avoided.

Robin Ni. Haig Alderley Edge, Cheshire As an Anglican I suppose I should be used to fence-sitting statements, but that attributed to the Church of England Hospital Chaplaincies Council (August 3) really deserves comment.

The statement is said to end with a warning to reconsider before "joining groups committed one way over abortion". Apart from the suggestion that the basic right to life is arguable, no mention is made of the person most affected by abortion, namely the unborn child.

The Council and the Rev. Ainsworth-Smith have got it all wrong of course. The point is whether or not hospital personnel have a right to guidance from chaplains who might help them when their conscience is troubled. This is done by clergy in other fields, why not over an issue involving human life? The question of "condemning or condoning" does not seem to arise.

In recent years, those opposed to abortion have sometimes been called "naive". (though like other things this was not always so) but then a Christian is often called this. Of course any details about abortion could he called "horror stories", Abortion is horrific and hospital staff often find it so. Are we in our new found sophistication going to deny them help?

Audrey Dawson (Mrs) Brentwood, Essex.

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