Abortion rights in Ireland, north and south of the border | Letters

Readers respond to Suzanne Moore’s piece about the ongoing fight for the right to legal abortionIrish women have been travelling to Britain for abortions for decades. In 1975, when I was a young English woman working as a union officer in Dublin, a desperate male friend asked how his wife’s 15-year-old sister could get an abortion (We must never stop fighting for the right to legal abortion, 8 March). Without knowledge of or access to contraception, her first sexual foray had left her pregnant. As a Brit, it was assumed I knew how to use my own country’s still new abortion law.

I scrabbled to find information about the Liverpool clinic; girl and mother took the boat and the deed was done. Anxious to prevent a repeat, the clinic provided a priest to reassure the girl she wasn’t eternally damned, plus contraceptive advice and a supply of pills, which she hid in her knicker drawer. Her mother found the pills and threw them away. Fifteen months on, the girl was pregnant again – and married.

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