DER the heading "Abor tion Law's Dangers" (November 1) you quote Prof. Jeffcoate of Liverpool as saying that 40 per cent of abortions performed under the Abortion Act had taken place in private nursing homes "of which only a relatively small number were registered for the purpose." Prof. Jeffcoate proceeded to draw various dire conclusions from this supposed "fact."
In reality, all the abortions to which Prof. Jeffcoate refers were performed in nursing homes registered under the Abortion Act, 1967. Had they not been. they would have been illegal, and thus not entered in the Registrar General's statistics, from which the professor quotes.
What Prof. Jeffcoate perhaps meant to say was that of the total number of legal abortions that have taken place since the Abortion Act came into effect, 60 per cent have been performed in NHS hospitals. and 40 per cent in registered nursing homes.
It is three times as difficult for a woman living in Liverpool to obtain an NHS abortion as it is for a woman living in East Anglia or Newcastle. In this situation, many Liverpool women have no alternative to the private nursing home abortion.
Madeleine Simms (Mrs.)
General secretary, Abortion Law Reform
Association London, N.W.1.