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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Don't restrict abortion, open up access

Nobody is pro-abortion - they are pro-choice.

Many of us have performed abortions, and prior to the 1967 Abortion Act people of my generation saw women dying from unsafe abortion either done by themselves or untrained women.

These deaths have been abolished and no one should be forcing a woman to carry on with a pregnancy against her will.

I doubt Dr Sheehan or other anti-abortionists would learn anything from visiting a clinic because they would not listen to the women, rather than doing as Osler said: 'Listen to the patient - he or she is telling you the diagnosis.'

It is the woman who puts her life at risk, however small these days - it is usually the woman who looks after the child and she is the one to decide whether or not she can cope with that responsibility.

Better contraceptive services and education on sex and relationships counteract the barrage of messages encouraging young people to have sex - yet often those against giving women the choice of ending an unwanted pregnancy safely are against contraception as well.

The best way that parliamentarians could help women would be to leave the time limit as it is, remove the need for two doctors' signatures, allow nurses to carry out early abortions and extend the act to Northern Ireland.

Women do not undertake abortion lightly and should be treated as responsible human beings.

Dr Wendy Savage, retired senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology, north London

Doctors for a woman's choice on abortion www.dwca.org

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