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Monday, 20 March, 2000, 13:33 GMT
Should it be easier to have an abortion?

New guideliness to make abortions easier and faster have been attacked by pro-life campaigners. They say the recommendations are irresponsible.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which drew up the recommendations, has defended them, saying abortion is a basic healthcare need for women.

Do you think that women should have faster and more universal access to abortions? Or will these guidelines encourage more women to have abortions? Send us your views and experiences. HAVE YOUR SAY We have no right to decide for someone else's life. At the moment of conception we create a life and we cannot suppress it. If we do, we are the same as any serial killer, murderer, nazi or any anti-Semitist.
Mirella Pece, UK

Surely, our sympathy has to be with any woman who has to select abortion as a solution...that selection made, then every effort should me made to de-traumatise the experience, procedures and cost. The woman has a right to life too!
J Colley, Australia

Many people that have written on this forum have not rationally considered what abortion truly is.

Bill Vatterot, USA
Does my "freedom" of speech allow me to yell fire in a crowded movie house? Does my "freedom" allow me to do whatever I want whenever I want? Of course not! Many people that have written on this forum have not rationally considered what abortion truly is, rather they see it only as another telling them what they can and cannot do. This relative moralism allows me dismiss EVERYTHING. When did society decide that there is no right or no wrong¿only people's opinion about it. Abortion is the "quick" solution that promises that no one - not even a child- can impede on my "freedom" or bother me.
Bill Vatterot, USA

As a nursing student, I would agree to therapeutic abortion. But it doesn't mean that you should destruct a foetus if you want to. Therapeutic abortion means that you can legally kill a baby that will be born with serious anomalies.
Jevie, Philippines

It's your life, your body, your choice. Do what you feel is right and do what makes you happy!!!
Clair Ford, England

I am a firm believer that any abortion is wrong and is just the same as any other kind of murder. All abortion should be banned.
Stephen, USA

Of course it should be easier. No question about it. I'm sick of the claptrap the so-called 'right-to-lifers' speak. They're usually gun toting bring-back-hanging types, totally at odds with their sentimental attachment to other people's foetuses.
Mark Laurence Scott, Brit in USA

The decision to end the pregnancy was not easy, and still causes deep emotion years later.

Tina, UK
Several years ago, with a young family, a career that was just kicking off, a loving husband who is also a marvellous father, I found myself pregnant. The decision to end the pregnancy was not easy, and still causes deep emotion years later.
Have the baby and have it adopted was not an option - I could never give birth to a child and then give it away. Quite apart from what I would have said to my existing children - you have a new brother or sister - but we're giving the baby to someone else!?!?
My decision was made to protect the rest of my family, and the quality of life I was struggling to provide for them. How dare anyone, male, female, American or any other nationality tell me that I should suffer more than I did and still do.
Tina, UK

A right to abortion only makes sense if you can prove conclusively that no other person's rights are undermined by it. In particular, you need to prove that the unborn child is not alive before birth since abortion is permitted in some cases up until birth. This, however, would contradict the numerous successes in births of premature babies.
Joe, UK

If we gave these unwanted children a chance, they could have grown up to be productive tax paying members of society.

Bill Whatcott, Canada
The name withheld was upset at the BBC's choice of picture for this debate. If the picture is not that of a living human being than what the big deal? For pro-lifers the picture of that little 8-12 week baby depicts in a very real way, why we feel so strongly about this issue. That picture resembles us when we were that young.
As for the extra millions of unaborted babies? How richer would the planet be if we opened our hearts and home to them. Europe and Canada is facing economic and social decline because of our low birth rates. Who's going to look after us when we are old and the tax base is not sufficient to support us at the end of our life? If we gave these unwanted children a chance, they could have grown up to be productive tax paying members of society. Who knows what potential we lost by aborting them.
Bill Whatcott, Canada

One of the saddest points that needs making in this abortion debate is how little the word love is used. No-one should "make love" and therefore babies, if they have no intention of loving their partner and the baby they make. No man who really loved the woman he "made love" to would want to see her abandoned and left frightened. No woman who loved her man would want to kill his baby. No-one who thought about their child, born or unborn, and loved him or her would want to kill him or her. Lets bring back love. "Love makes the world go round." What the world needs now is love sweet love."
Gill Duval, England

I'm saddened that the US 'God Squad' seems to have invaded this board. It is about time that this debate is undertaken seriously and in depth, not by barging in, shouting 'murder!' and leaving...
Iain Lindley, UK

Isn't it strange that a pro-choicer could consider your picture of a foetus 'insensitive and emotive'. I guess they hate being reminded that it is a human life in there.
Fendall, New Zealand

Personally I'll go with the scientific 'cell' theories, we are all just clusters of cells anyway.

Rebecca, UK
Reading through these comments I would suggest that one's opinion would come from whether you had 'scientific' beliefs or 'religious/superstitious' beliefs. Personally I'll go with the scientific 'cell' theories, we are all just clusters of cells anyway, I don't believe in life after death and I don't believe that babies are 'babies' until they can sustain their own life, until then they are cells in the body of their host.
Rebecca, UK

Direct intentional abortion should be outlawed in all circumstances. Human life begins at conception. Consequently, abortion constitutes the destruction of innocent human life. Also, it psychologically damages women. The BMA recognises Post Abortion trauma as a psychological disorder.
Gerard Hanratty, England

I advocate abortion when it is the right thing to do. I blame the lack of adequate childcare on why some women may choose to abort. The cost of childcare is extremely high. Not everyone can afford to be a 'stay at home' mum.

Rhonda, Britain
I have recently found myself having to make the decision to abort, or keep it. My immediate reaction was to have it terminated. Selfishly, I thought of myself and my career first. It was only after a visit to the Pregnancy Advisory Clinic and then later, an appointment to have a termination (5 weeks later) that I later came round to the idea that maybe it was possible to have this baby. I am now 6.5 months pregnant, and glad to say that it was the best decision that I have ever made. I know that this isn't for everyone and I certainly advocate abortion when it is the right thing to do. No woman takes the decision to have an abortion lightly, and should certainly not be criticised or made to feel guilty for thinking about, or actually having one. You say, what about the right of the child, but really what rights does the child have until it's born? There are different circumstance which could lead to an abortion. I have got several disabilities and was worried that I might pass them on. It's alright to say, "well your mother didn't have you aborted", but in the 60's, they didn't have ultrasound scans and there wasn't the medical advancements there are today. Who knows, she may well have ended the pregnancy if she had known. I haven't asked her. But it would have been her decision, which she would have and should have, the right to make.
Rhonda, Britain

I disagree that most pro-life leaders are men. I am a women, and I simply don't understand how anyone can argue that an embryo with it's own set of chromosomes, it's own heartbeat, it's own brain waves, and it's own blood type is not a human baby. What is it then? If death is measured by the cessation of brainwaves, then surely this is how we should measure when a new life begins.
Angela, UK

Pro-lifers need to stop and think long and hard about the unrealistic utopia they advocate. Where will all these millions of extra, unaborted children be educated? Where will they live? Who will look after them if their mothers do not want to? And how will these predominantly Catholic do-gooders live with themselves if women are forced back into dangerous back-street abortions? They talk total rubbish and make me fume! Once a woman makes the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy it should be performed as swiftly and easily as possible. Furthermore - I disagree with your choice of image for this section, BBC - it's totally insensitive and deliberately emotive.
Withheld, UK

It amazes me to see some comments here: 'pro-lifers are all men here - what do they understand?' and then in the same breath we get 'men should take responsibility for they're actions'. Well ladies, its BOTH the responsibility of BOTH those engaged in sex to understand the implications. It is also just as valid for men to be concerned with the abortion issue and have a say.
Peter, USA (ex - UK)

British abortion laws are a monument to hypocrisy. They rely on some perceived harm being anticipated to a woman, yet it is clear that in the vast majority of cases, the only "harm" is the financial burden of having to look after the child. The sum total of current British morality is that if it saves money, then it is moral. Therefore, British morality dictates that abortions be made easier.
Charles Byrnell, UK

I don't think it is ever easy for women to have abortions. Whatever way you look at it is a ghastly experience. If we make it harder for women in these situations they will be forced into back street abortions with severe life-threatening risks.
Jason Thomas Williams, UK

Yes, women have the right to choose..... the right to choose to say 'no' to a sexual liaison unless they have been in a close relationship for long enough to know their partner would support them through pregnancy and child-rearing, the right to use two or more different contraceptive methods at the same time if THEY are the ones who really can't be bothered with babies yet. Pregnancy happens sometimes as a result of a criminal attack, or the baby is suffering from some awful condition which would make its own life and that of its family extremely hard. In those cases termination is easier to understand. But as another form of birth control... I don't think so!
Tricia, England

Pro-choice is not pro-abortion, it is accepting that what is ok for you is not always ok for me. What we need is to educate people of ALL options, and make people understand the real issues. Whether you are pro-life OR pro-choice: encourage sex education (cut down teen pregnancies), make contraception a male issue too (why are females always stuck with the problems?), help single parents more (so they keep the baby), support free child care, make adoption easier for the birth mother (more prepared to confess & birth the child). There is too much Puritanism around (Nobody must know! Easier to kill 'it' than confess) I don't believe in bringing a child into the world to be neglected, abused or ignored just because some one some where thinks they know better, they are somehow 'right', sitting on some idealised high ground.
Sue Packard, Surrey, UK

I think that the most important thing is to provide the woman with good sound advice and sufficient after-care. Each woman has different views, but it is them who have to live with the guilt and resentment it can sometimes cause.
Victoria Dettori, UK

The right to an abortion should be a mother's choice, and a mother's choice only. However crude it may sound the unborn child is a part of her, and therefore much as she can have a kidney removed, she should retain the right to have an unborn child removed.
Tom Webb, Belgium

Let us help them solve their problems in facing the pregnancy, not kill their unborn children.

Josephine Quintavalle, UK
I attended the conference of the RCOG yesterday where the new Guidelines on abortion provision were launched. For the whole day the unborn child was referred to as 'products of conception' to be 'evacuated' or even 're-evacuated' if the abortion was not successful the first time. Success can be established by 'visualising the contents in a bedpan' (actual words).
For all those who do not believe that abortion is barbaric, I remind you that you too were once 'products of conception'. 20 years of pregnancy and post-abortion counselling tell me that women find abortion a ghastly experience. Let us help them solve their problems in facing the pregnancy, not kill their unborn children.
Josephine Quintavalle, UK

Deciding to actually have the operation is difficult enough (I have friends who have been faced with the decision) without other peoples' moral judgement getting in the way. Anybody who believes a woman would rid themselves of (potentially) their own child for convenience sake is batty. Why not campaign for the sanctity of human life with regard to the capital punishment prevalent in various parts of the globe. Here we have a fully functioning human being murdered by the State - now that I want no part of.
Craig Harry, England

Government Policy: Save the Foxes. Kill the Babies.
Anthony O'Sullivan, United Kingdom

I have two small children and I have had one abortion.

M Hendrix, UK
Surely it is about the quality of life you can give a child. Waiting for 4-6 weeks for an abortion in Central London is too long. It should stay part of NHS, after all working women do pay a N.I. contribution and it is part of life. Anti-abortionist comments from men is absurd and woman who call it murder are small minded. I have two small children and I have had one abortion.
M Hendrix, UK

The drowning of kittens is not only publicly condemned but also punishable by law. Aborting babies is not only widely accepted but also state subsidised. What comes next?
TR Zaska, Finland

Abortion has nothing to do with healthcare. Abortion hurts women (and men) emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and often physically as well. It also makes her guilty of murdering her own baby. To make it easier for her to do all that is criminal.
Mark Gabriel, USA

It's fascinating. The one outstanding national contributors to this argument are the US participants. It's funny how a few cells have more rights to life than say:
1) Incumbents on death row (how many innocents die per year-or have politically motivated deaths from overpowerful Senators)

2) The right to bear arms - how many innocents die from guns in the US per year?

3) How many innocents die because they have NO money for health. (the US being the ONLY western country without a national health system).

I could go on, but as many American authors and journalists point out, their focus appears to be somewhat misplaced. Abortion is not nice, but the strength of argument I hear from our transatlantic cousins seems disproportionate to much larger issues.
Stuart Champion, UK

As a man I do not feel I have the right to have an opinion on this subject. I do believe, however, that I have an absolute and moral obligation to support my partner 100%, no matter what decision she takes on the subject ... and to do so without criticism, judgement, or a need to persuade her either way.
This does not mean I negate my responsibility to provide cogent arguments or discuss the matter in all its difficult aspects, but once the decision has been reached, my partner will need all the support she can get.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

There are people out there who want these children more than anything else in the world.

Dave, USA
My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for 10 years. Recently we found out that our only remaining option is in-vitro fertilisation, a very costly procedure ($12.000) that has no guarantees. We have researched adoption and it also has its drawbacks. If you go through the state chances are you will get a drug addicted baby, or a young child who has been severely traumatised. Or you can go through an adoption agency, where once again the cost is prohibitive ($10.000-15.000).
I have no problems with people wanting to have abortions in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the mother. But wouldn't it be better to make adoptions easier for people in the case where a healthy mother simply does not want the child. There are people out there who want these children more than anything else in the world.
Dave, USA

It should be illegal... There are adequate methods to prevent pregnancy. I don't consider murdering a child is an option. Perhaps we should be spending more money in helping women (economically) to be able to keep their children.
Vivien Cooksley, Austria

I for one am sick and tired of having my taxes used to pay for other people's irresponsibility!

Pat, UK
The very people who scream that it's a woman's choice, and abortion should be made easier are the same people who complain because granddad's been waiting a year for his hip replacement. What if everyone had to take responsibility for their actions and give birth to their babies, or pay privately for abortion?
Abortion is the second most common operation in the UK. Think of the beds, nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists used up to get rid of people's 'mistakes'. I for one am sick and tired of having my taxes used to pay for other people's irresponsibility! How dare they murder their children and expect other people to pay for it, and then be so sanctimonious about it?
Pat, UK

I am glad that he did not end up as a set of broken spare body parts in a black bin liner.

Abortion is the intentional killing of a vulnerable and helpless human being. That is why it should never be considered lightly. Many women think that abortion is the only way out of their difficult situation. More should be done to change this- more child care facilities for working mothers and students, flexible jobs, moral and financial support given to mention a few.
Beata Klepacka, England

At the age of 23 I became pregnant due to failed contraception and with a partner I had only been with for a few months. Shortly after I found out, I was made redundant and consequently became depressed and anxious. I am sure that most would agree that these are no circumstances under which to bring a child into the world.
Withheld, UK

19 years ago my younger sister became pregnant at the age of sixteen. I remember my uncle remonstrating with her that she should have an abortion. She chose to have the bay. It is interesting to watch my uncle today who loves his great nephew who has now grown into a pleasant young man. The world and our family would be poorer without him. I am glad that he did not end up as a set of broken spare body parts in a black bin liner. I oppose abortion, but I oppose undue haste even more.

Isn't it strange that so many of those who are opposed to abortion are also in favour of the death penalty? How then can they call themselves Pro-life??
Caroline, UK

No woman trots out to have an abortion as care-free as buying a newspaper

Alex, UK
It seems that the difference between conservative and liberal standpoints on the issues of capital punishment and abortion may be summed up thus: conservatives are generally in favour of punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent; liberals are generally in favour of protecting the guilty and punishing the innocent.
Henry Case, UK

We cannot take away the mother's right to choose. Once we start taking away an individual's right to do as they will with their body, we are taking away their right to freedom of life. How many of the anti-abortion campaigners here would like laws governing other aspects of their life-style? How they dress, when they can go out etc... A bit Orwellian perhaps, but if we take away an individual's right to choose to abort a baby or not, where does it go on from there?
Simon, England

Women need access to good, speedy, non-judgemental birth control advice

Janet, UK
Funny, Brendan from the UK thinks "women must live with the consequences of their actions". I was always given to understand that making babies involved a man at some point as well - maybe if men started taking responsibility for some of their actions, the need for women to have abortions would disappear altogether.
E Heyworth, UK

Will these guidelines encourage more women to have abortions? Are you kidding me? No woman trots out to have an abortion as care-free as buying a newspaper. Many women agonise over the decision. If as a potential father I was faced with this decision, I would chose not to terminate the pregnancy, but unlike these fanatical lunatics, do NOT believe in forcing my opinions on anyone else. A question for the fanatics, how would you feel if the tables were turned, and you were forced to abort a foetus?
Alex, UK

I am on the pill because I do not want children. If the pill fails and it is not my fault through not taking it then I want the right to have a termination.
Louise, UK

It is NEVER an easy option to have an abortion. Women need access to good, speedy, non-judgemental birth control advice with proper counselling at whatever level including abortion. This is what a civilised should offer. I also take exception with the BBC publishing the views of (mostly) male US right wing extremists on this page!
janet, UK

The very people who scream that it's a woman's choice, and abortion should be made easier are the same people who complain because grandad's been waiting a year for his hip replacement. What if everyone had to take responsibility for their actions and give birth to their babies, or pay privately for abortion? Abortion is the second most common operation in the UK. Think of the beds, nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists used up to get rid of people's 'mistakes'.
Pat, UK

Let women have the choice but let them pay for it and do not burden the NHS with more costs due to lifestyle choices.

Dr Adnan Siddiqui, UK
As a GP in the UK I am often faced with women requesting abortion and by law one needs 2 doctors to state that the physical or mental well being of the mother is at risk to support their request. The vast majority I see state that they cannot cope with a baby at this time because of career, finance, relationship problems etc and these are not in any way mental health problems and are part of the fabric of life.
I feel that there should be more honesty from these women and if they are given a choice it should be stated that the pregnancy is not convenient for them and then doctors can readily sign their forms. Also the desire to perform earlier abortions should be honestly categorised as preventing a woman from experiencing a late abortion which effectively means delivering a foetus which was viable. Let women have the choice but let them pay for it and do not burden the NHS with more costs due to lifestyle choices.
Dr Adnan Siddiqui, UK

I think we should allow legal abortion, but play safe and restrict it to the very earliest periods of pregnancy.

Alex Chiang, Australia
The real question is, when does an embryo/foetus become a human being, i.e. when does abortion change from surgery to murder? Right-to-life advocates cannot prove that a human embryo is a conscious person, but nor can pro-abortionists prove that it is not.
Ideally I'd rather not take the risk of being a murderer and not allow abortion at all, but this is idealistic, ignores the fact that backyard abortions would probably be encouraged, and is coldly hard-hearted where, for example, rape is involved. As a compromise, I think we should allow legal abortion, but play safe and restrict it to the very earliest periods of pregnancy.
Alex Chiang, Australia

If two people have sex and a child is created, the people who did the act of sex should have realised what they were actually doing and they should have been more aware of the implications of the act.
Killing a child at any stage is wrong. No human has the right to end the life of another, (except justice) What crime has this defenceless child done???
Nadeem, Wales

There are some viciously anti-abortion comments from men: how do they think they would feel if their wife was gang-raped by drug addicts, at least one of whom was HIV positive, as an acquaintance of mine was? The fear she suffered at the thought she could be carrying a child? She was lucky - she was able to get help and take the morning-after Pill. But an egg could have been fertilised in that time.
How about IUDs? Part of their function is to prevent a fertilised egg from imbedding in the uterus. Is this early abortion? One aspect of the Pill's effectiveness is its prevention of the uterine lining developing so any fertilised eggs cannot embed. Is this early abortion? Where do you draw the line?
Jenni, UK

All human beings have an inalienable right to life.

Giuseppe Gori, Canada
1. Abortion is a man's issue as well as a woman's issue, since about half of the aborted babies are men. Who speaks for them?
2. The aborted baby is human (46 chromosomes) and alive. All human beings have an inalienable right to life. Abortion is a question of life and death (mostly death) of an innocent human being. It touches us all. It involves us all.
Giuseppe Gori, Canada

I am not surprised to see that many of the anti abortion comments come from men. They are not the people who have to make a difficult decision to have an abortion in the first place. In many cases if men stood by their girlfriends such a decision may not be necessary.
I agree that abortions should be made easier, the later they're carried out the more dangerous they become. As for late abortions, my sister gave birth at 25 weeks and although the baby had been alive and active the day before was born and died within minutes, its lungs and brain too undeveloped to support life. Late abortion should be avoided at all costs, so by all means make earlier abortions easier please.
Siobhan, UK

Abortion is straight out MURDER the foetus is not yet living but one day it does have the chance to be living and every thing should have a chance at life!
Tamara Lyn Grant, Australia

Although I am only 20, I am shocked and saddened by the so-called "adults" who would rather abort a baby than face up to the consequences of their actions. Stop hiding behind your liberal feminist agenda and just admit that abortion is a destruction of human life, one that just happens to be legal in today's society.
And please don't make a mockery of rhetoric by saying that abortions should be easier because women will have them no matter what; the morality of an action is determined on its own merits, not on the number of people who engage in it. After all, there are plenty of rapists, but should we make it easier for them to rape, "since they'll do it anyway"?? Exactly...
Kryspin T, USA

The anti-abortion argument is predicated on the idea that foetus = baby. If you believe this, then the 'pro-life' lobby's actions make (some) sense. Fortunately, a foetus is no more a baby than an egg is a chicken.
C Davis, UK

Coming from a country that exports its problems to the UK, I welcome the British decision. It will make it much easier to have terminations in the UK at a much earlier stage in development, easier on the mother and on the foetus too. I look forward to the day when Ireland matures enough to introduce similar legislation and face up to its own realities. I have a friend who is going to the UK tomorrow for a termination, I feel so strongly that there is no moral difference between an abortion here and one in the UK
Robert, Ireland

Abortion should certainly not be easier to obtain - it is too easy at present, sometimes for mere reasons of convenience. Helen (USA) writes of "the waste of talent and life brought on by unwanted and unprepared parenthood" - but what of the tragic waste of talent and life of just one aborted human being? You can throw away a CD or a car, but surely not a child.
Trevor, UK

As a man, I probably don't have the right to answer that question, but if I were a woman, I would like the right to choose.

Ray Marsh, Australia
Abortion is a basic right. But even those who are undecided must surely see that women will have abortions regardless of how legal, illegal, difficult or simple. Abortion should be offered swiftly and in a totally non-judgemental environment. Every child should be a wanted, hoped for, loved child coming into the lives of those prepared and willing to recieve her/him.
abigail, Britain

What right do we have to tell anyone what to do with their body. Most of the pro-life groups are lead by and organised by men. How can they even begin to empathise with women if they have an unwanted and possibly dangerous pregnancy.
Chris, UK

Abortion is not a basic health care service and was never intended to be. These recommendations completely undermine the purpose of obstetrics in which there must always be two patients, the mother and her unborn child. It is unjustifiable to invoke womens rights to justify breaking by deliberate killing the most intimate of human relationships. It is also unacceptable for tax-payers' money to be used to destroy life and brutalise women, leaving them prey to post-abortion syndrome, especially when care for the sick and elderly is continually being cut back.
Naomi Young, England

Termination of pregnancy is a legal procedure, and as such access should be as straightforward as possible.

Guy Chapman, UK
I am gratified that the debate here is of a high standard. In the press the arguments on both sides are invariably hijacked by the extremists - "easier abortion is wrong because abortion is wrong and should be stopped" versus "easier abortion is right because a woman should have the absolute right to choose." The reality is that termination of pregnancy is a legal procedure, and as such access should be as straightforward as possible. I regret deeply that the two extremist camps prevented the passage of the Alton bill some years ago, which would at least have reflected the ability of doctors to save babies born prematurely before the abortion cut-off date. On the other hand, the fact that the law is an ass in this respect does not give doctors the right to place obstacles in the way of women seeking legal terminations, nor is it a substitute for a revision of the legislation surrounding abortion to reflect these developments.
Guy Chapman, UK

22 years ago I took part in marches against reducing the time limits on abortion. A proposed amendment to Steeles bill was being promoted by MP Currie. I am horrified at the rise of the conservative right in the USA, and the ramifications this might have in the UK. No fewer teenage pregnancies are occurring, quite the opposite. Abortion choices and especially reductions in time limits continue to most affect not intelligent, socially aware and mature women, but ignorant, afraid, immature and disadvantaged ones!The Pro life sector is guilty of failing to understand the position of those their decisions most affect, and their efforts should be strongly opposed by all intelligent women - and men - who can logically argue that few women ever take the decision to abort, without serious emotional upset, aswell as concern for both their and their babies future.
Sally Pickersgill, Leeds, England

Anyone who isn't capable of carrying a child i.e. male, or past their fertile years, has no right to try and dictate what a woman should do, because an unwanted pregnancy is something they will never have to contemplate. Other women should only have the right to comment on their own situation and should not be so presumptuous as to assume they know what is best for other women. There is nothing worse to see in this world than a child who does not receive enough care and attention.
Christina West, UK

Substitute the word Obstetrician with the word 'butcher'. The Royal College should be ashamed of itself. All prospective parents should ensure they are not treated by these dual personality 'professionals' who will deliver or kill depending on market need. This is not a profession but a service provider.
Mike Willis, Scotland

Should it be easier to slaughter an innocent human life? NO. It should be illegal. What about the womans body you say, well what about the babies body?
Brandon Wegner, U.S.A.

How much does an abortion cost? One Human Life! ALL abortions are murder! Rape and insest is no exception!
Sparky, Wichita, Kansas USA

If there is a way to make the procedure safer please take it.

Sandy, USA
Abortion is not a convenience, nor is it an easy decision for a family to make. Too often our society tries to accuse the female of being irresponsible for getting pregnant. We often forget that abortion is a medical procedure performed to save a human life (the mothers). If there is a way to make the procedure safer please take it. But, there will never be a way of making it easier.
Sandy, USA

The reason that I am "pro choice" is that I do not believe it is my right or responsibility to prevent those who want to have an abortion to have one. The more restrictions one puts on that choice, the easier it becomes to return to the days of yore that resulted in many women dying of back alley abortions.
Stacey, USA

Abortion is not a necessary evil,it is simply evil. There is a 100 per cent effective form of contraception it is just that people are too weak to use it.Making abortion even easier can only increase the tendancy to think of it as just another contraceptive and to resort to its use. Aside from the fact that abortion kills babies it simply is not just another method of preventing a problem.It is a dangerous medical procedure for the woman too which may have longlasting consequences,both physical and mental.Making abortion easier though absolves society from tackling the real problems which lead women to abortions in the first place.
L .B, UK

Being pregnant with an unwanted child is truely a terrible situation. Killing the unborn child to 'get out'' of the situation is a thousand times worse. People should except that actions have consequences. Those speaking against abortions is the only voice the child has.
Abi, USA (ex-UK)

We are talking of disposing of human life. This is not right. Many people like myself would have loved to have adopted a baby but there were never enough to adopt. Human life is precious don't make it easier to destroy. Even if you don't want the baby someone else might.
Julia Waugh, UK

I am saddened as much by the bigotry and ignorance of those taking the moral high ground, as I am for the need to reform the abortion laws, but needed it is. Women have tried to terminate unwanted pregnancies throughout history and no amount of moral browbeating is going to stop a desperate pregnant woman taking steps to protect her own livelhood. Surely it is rigth that we do all we can to make this process as safe as possible. It is rarely seen as the easy option, nor is it a decsion made lightly by anyone having to make such a dreadful choice. But the right to make that choice must remain, and until men HAVE to be wholly responsible for the consequences of their sexual behaviour, I feel that they should be very careful about making such judgemental comments.
Anne, UK

I don't like abortion because it's a kind of murder. We should make a law to punish those who abort our human being like a piece of cake.
Jack, U.S.A

Abortion is the brutal killing of innocent human beings. How many people are aware that 18 days after a baby is conceived its heart is beating, in the 6th week after conception brainwaves can be detected and after 8 weeks ALL ORGANS ARE FUNCTIONING EXCEPT THE LUNGS. These babies HAVE A CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM SO THEY CAN FEEL PAIN FROM A VERY EARLY STAGE. If every one knew the humanity of the unborn child there would be no abortions as everyone would recognise that abortion is murdering an innocent human being.Abortion does enormous damage to women's health almost certainly causing cervical and breast cancer pelvic infections and leaving huge numbers of women traumatised for life so of whom have been driven to suicide. ABORTION SHOULD BE STOPPED NOW!

A couple of things come to mind here, would you consider killing your 1 year old child because you had no money or it interfered with your career ? There is no difference in my mind between the born and the unborn, they are both lives. Secondly, don't forget God brought Adam and Eve together and provided Sex for the marital union.. NO OTHER.. If all sex was performed within these God given guidlines the issue of Abortion would would not be an issue.
Richard Smith, USA

I have never been able to reconcile the 'left-wing' bias to protection of life and environment, anti-judgemental approach, and their unwavering acceptance of abortion. To say "this child is going to be miserable, and their parents won't bring them up properly" is a judgement that results in the death sentence. Their motivation for such attitudes must be spiritual, it contradicts the rest of their agenda.
Fendall Hill, New Zealand

The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists was established to maintain the highest levels of pregnancy care for women and their unborn children.How tragic that they should be so willing to turn their back on this mission, and dedicate so much time to finding more cost effective and speedier methods of killing the unborn child. They, together with the Health Department, should be looking for realistic way to reduce not increase this barbarous intervention. Josephine Quintavalle
Josephine Quintavalle, UK

Abortion is wrong there is no way you can escape that fact! It isn't the baby's fault in ANY situation! Give them the same opprotunity to live as we all have had ( their right as human beings). Adoption can be a wonderful way to solve it, by giving parents who can't concieve the gift of a child who they maybe can take care of!
C Cecil, USA

The US anti-abortion lunatics have a child-like attitude towards life. Simple, simple, simple. They sqwark when there is mention of taking their guns away and they howl when a fertized egg is destroyed. Why don't they concentrate on the welfare of the post birth generation? They answer is simple: it would require them to show some compassion for the living and dig into their grubby little pockets to solve US societal ills. Peter
Peter Campbell, USA

Abortion is a crime, if the woman has a right what she want to do with her body. did any one asked that innocent child she want to kill if he/she has any right? or whether he/she want to live?
Abdinasir Mohamed, Somalia

I think relaxing laws on abortion is a wonderful thing. I'm sick of the prolife anti-choice nuts in Australia. Women throughout the centuries have known how to terminate pregnancies by themselves. Abortion is just a more efficient process to that end. I'd be infuriated if I was a woman and someone else was telling me that I must have THIS child and that's that. Not in a million years could someone convince me that abortion is "wrong" unless the population was diminishing at an extraordinary rate. Anti-abortionists should admit to themselves that they're biased christians or haven't a clue about biology and conciousness.
S. Ciano, Australia

I do not agree the abortion should be made easy, as this would mean more abortins. I don't think abortion is right, however I do understand that in certain situations this is the only way out. In reality even if there was no way out, there is indeed always a way out by keeping the baby, even if it means giving up the baby for adoption, I am sure you would be very unhappy if you parents has killed you before you were born and were not given the chance to taste life
Shahbaz, UK

I think abortion should be available, if only to prevent the terrible deaths of many young women who had back street abortions and got gangrene of the uterus as a result. However it is the deliberate and pre-meditated ending of a form of human life. Abortion should not be seen as a form of contraception which these guidelines may encourage. It is not something that we should start to take lightly, or the core values of our society and those of the value of human life are called into question.
Rob Stafford, England

Abortion is not a form of contraception. Abortion terminates a human life. It is not a human right, it is a human wrong. If we ever had a proper open scientific and moral debate in this country on the facts of abortion I believe we would do everything we could to stop abortions. Abortion is wrong, and with free and open contraception we do not need access to it to be made any easier.
Ed Manning, UK

You don´t have to be religious to be anti-abortion, especially in a place like Britain where contraception is so freely available. Sure, in a brief moment of carelessness you can forget, but in a brief moment of carelessness you can also hit someone with your car. You are still responsible. But despite being anti-abortion, I accept that not everybody is going to start thinking like me overnight, so if these giudelines make the process quicker and help to avoid late term abortions, then I suppose this must be less bad than the current situation. It's a shame people feel they have a right to do it at all.
Graham Bell, Brazil

Better an abortion than an unwanted child. there's enough misery in this world to go around better not add someone else to suffer.
Martin Bentley, UK

Let the individual decide. Please do not become like Americans and impose other people moral on the whole of society.
Roger Keyte, USA

Abortion is the deliberate taking of an innocent human life, and can only be morally justifiable in the gravest of circumstances. Yet over 95% of abortions in the UK are performed for convenience. The idea that it should be made easier is appalling.
Nicholas Beale, England

Of course abortion should be more easily available. The waste of talent and life brought on by unwanted and unprepared parenthood is one of the horrors of our times. We will have a better society when abortion is the first consideration on discovering an unplanned pregnancy instead of the last.
Helen, USA

Life does not end with the birth of a child. Disposing of unwanted people is unacceptable, if you do not have the right to life then you can have no rights. Abortion should not be a right, "pro-choice" means "pro-death". More support needs to be given to mothers who to often become victims suffering psychological and physical problems.
P Green, UK

One day abortions will be a thing of the past. When medical science finds a way, terminating a pregnancy will be a matter of relocating the baby into an incubator machine. No human life will be lost and there will be an end to this debate. Right now I think abortion is an unavoidable necessary evil, which should be not a matter of convenience.
Nikolai, UK

Since only men have responded so far. Yes, access to abortion should be made much easier. As someone who works with an abortion clinic, I can assure you that most women do not have an abortion just for "convenience." We still do not have 100% effective contraception; safe sex is still not taught effectively in many schools, and women are still victims of sexual violence. Roger is right - don't try to be like America, and don't start imposing your own morality on other women's bodies.
Fiona Young, UK

No woman or girl has an abortion "for fun", but in the firm belief that what they are doing is the unfortunate but realistic solution to a terrible problem. If a woman were to take such a situation lightly, then she is probably not the best prospective parent in any case. Can we please close this very painful debate and allow those who have to go through such a situation to do so as quickly and easily as possible, without further adding to their distress?
Lisa Williams, Wales

Nice to see the anti-abortionist comments are from men; probably driven by a religious agenda. It is the woman's right to choose, and such decisions are not made lightly or for convenience.
Simon, USA

Abortion is murder. How can a civilised country justify the murder of innocent unborn children. God is the creater of all life. It is terrible that we are getting to the stage that we have to start protecting babies from their own mothers. In the consumer society which we are now living in, we are getting confused about what really has value.
Anna, Uk

This move has been made, not to increase the 'popularity' of abortion, but to simply make the process safer. The longer a woman has to wait for an abortion, the more dangerous the procedure becomes. So by ensuring that no woman has to wait no more than three weeks it is simply a common sense move to help women through a difficult time.
Alex, UK

Abortion is a terrible and evil thing. It is totally unnecessary in 100% of all cases. Women must live with the consequences of their actions and for those whom have suffered sexual violence, I believe that a caesarian section should be preformed as soon as the life is viable and that the child should be taken into care. There is no need to make one violent crime become two, by murdering an innocent, helpless child.
Brendan, England

In response to the opinion of Roger Keyte, if it is the individual who decides, then do you think that it is alright for someone to randomly shoot someone else in the street? Well, it's that person's choice, according to you, and morals are not to be forced onto each other.
Anna, UK

The taking of any form of human life is never right. The easier it is to have an abortion the more fast and loose a lifestyle will prevail. It's high time society took some responsibility for their behavioural patterns. These things would not ne necessary if people brought some discipline into their lives. Humanity has sunk to a very low ebb in its history.
John, Canada

Abortion should not be funded by the NHS. They have little money as it is. Don't go down this slippery slope, that is the abortion debate, like the US has done. Abortion is a symptom of societal ills. Lets get to the causes - ignorance, lack of sex education, pornography, male lack of respect for females etc - and deal with these issues. It won¿t cure everything but it will considerably cut down the demand for abortions.
Andrew Hall, USA

I don't think that anybody considers abortion to be a form of contraception. However, every contraception method has a certain failure rate, and there was a poll recently claiming that a large percentage of women seeking abortions used some sort of contraception. Abortions should be easily available to all those who need it. It is a decision of an individual. The baby would be growing in the body of the mother, and nobody has the right to decide for her. Its her body and her life.
Alex, Germany

When the precious gift of a new life is squandered so easily it does begin a slippery slope of disregard for all life. Those reading this might see it as absurd, I don't. Life, inconvenient or not, is a blessing, a gift. There are many, many couples yearning for a child to adopt but have been denied this privilege by the easy access of abortion. If you can't abstain. by all means use contraception, but if it doesn't work don't deny the life that has been created by calling it a mass of tissue. When mothers killing their children becomes acceptable it is not far off until we look for other ways to purge our society from the old, the unwanted and fringe members of our world.
Carolee Gifford-Elkington, USA

Sorry to be repeating other comments, but abortion is murder. the hypocritic oath prohibits the taking of innocent human life, particularly death by abortion.
Paul, England

It should be as easy as you want. These over righteous religious people have no right to impose themselves on people. If people want an abortion fine, if they don't fine. But the people who perform bombings on clinics are going to far.
J Rees, UK

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11 Mar 00 | Health
Anger at abortion guideline

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