The DUP and abortion


A chara, – It is reported that there were “gasps” in the House of Commons when Sammy Wilson stated that there are people living their lives today in Northern Ireland who “would have been discarded and put in a bin before they were ever born” if the abortion law there was similar to that of the rest of the UK (“Emotional abortion debate draws gasps in House of Commons”, June 6th). The truth can be a shocking thing; and, given the documented fact that in England and Wales there is one abortion for every four live births, this is an incontrovertible truth.

And it is good that a disapproving attitude to the truth “did not deter subsequent speakers” from pointing out that abortion is “sometimes used as a form of contraception”. The only argument one could honestly make against that claim is the use of the word “sometimes”, given that even the British Pregnancy Advice Service, one of the UK’s leading abortion providers, accepts than in one of every two terminations in the UK the woman was using contraception and abortion is claimed to be a necessary “back-up” for those occasions when a woman’s normal method of contraception “fails”. The word “often” or “frequently” would have been more accurate.

There are a lot of inconvenient truths when it comes to abortion. A great many of them were ignored or derided as “fake news” during the course of our own recent debate on the issue. Hopefully this will not be allowed to be the case in the debate now taking place over the future of abortion law in Northern Ireland. The children whose lives may be saved as a result deserve no less. – Is mise,



Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – I have written previously about the DUP’s refusal to countenance any Brexit deal that would make Northern Ireland different in any way from the rest of the UK.

It even went as far as embarrassing Theresa May when she was on the verge of a breakthrough in negotiations with the EU.

It has taken too long but Westminster has finally come to realise that Northern Ireland is already out of step with the rest of the United Kingdom. This week Sammy Wilson shocked the House of Commons with his tirade against abortion and perhaps for the first time showed the rest of the UK what sort of party Theresa May did a deal with in order to stay in power.

I gather there even are those within his own party who are now concerned about the damage he has caused the party’s image – and so they should be. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 8.