May I correct a misunderstanding about LIFE in the article by Norman St John-Stores in your issue of February 25? Far from being a "new" organisation, LIFE is nearly seven years old, has 126 fully active branches in various parts of the United Kingdom, a membership in this country of about 15,000 and considerable membership overseas!
LIFE does not merely campaign for the full repeal of the 1967 Abortion Act: it provides a national free pregancy care service which in 1976 helped about 3,000 women and girls with serious problems during pregnancy to overcome their difficulties without recourse to abortion.
LIFE is able to provide accommodation before birth to single girls who wantto or have to leave home because they are pregnant, and is increasingly able to provide in special LIFE hostels decent homes for unsupported mothers and babies.
Married women also get help and support with born and unborn children, LIFE is the main British source of literature, posters, and stickers on abortion. Last year we sold 188,000 leaflets and booklets to schools, colleges and community groups of all kinds, in a big educational effort. Each group gives talks in its area lo break down ignorance about the nature and consequences of abortion.
LIFE has campaigned actively for the last two years for the full repeal of the 1967 Abortion Act. Our extensive evidence to the Select Committee on Abortion (where, incidentally, we were the
first to detail the adverse demographic effects of mass abortion) showed that, far from it being "impracticable" to want repeal, an effective national pregnancy care service could cope with the social and economic problems at the root of abortion.
In LIFE's view there is too much
defeatism about the possibility of totally repealing the iniquitous Abortion Act. We do not accept that it is impossible to educate the public to reject abortion on moral grounds, especially when those educating are at the same time providing a positive caring service to women with problems.
We must not forget that other im moral laws in our history have been repealed (slavery, child labour. capital punishment) because of the determined clear opposition of the minority who refused to accept them.
LIFE is glad that the Benyon Bill
succeeded at its Second Reading on February 25. We must recognise, though, that the provisions of that Bill go only a small way to obtaining the full civil rights of the unborn, and that the basic principle of abortion, the killing ore fellow human being, is still untouched.
In other words, we still have a long way to go, but LIFE is determined to pursue the political, and practicable, goal of equal protection of the unborn child from conception onwards.
(Mrs) N. Scarisbrick Hon Administrator,
35 Kenilworth Road, LIFE, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire (Mother ore handicapped son) Handsworth, Birmingham.
In last week's Herald there was an advertisement for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. It concludes with the sentiment, "Can we put a price on life?" I say yes we can,
If one substitutes the words, "They are the mentally handicapped" for "They are unborn babies", all the preceding definitions fit.
I can never understand why the protection of such societies as SPUC stops when the child is born; logically they should be demonstrating and writing to MPs, etc, about the living death a good many children such as the severely subnormal, the battered, and the rejected have to undergo.
I am not advocating indiscriminate abortion for these
te but I do believe that tchacrrns,
arc areas, according to individual circumstances, where the situation is grey rather than black ur white. There are no available statistics as to how many children at risk are born because of the intervention of the anti-abortion counselling services, but I would very much like to know the subsequent fate of them.