Sir, - Richie Keane (July 2nd) praised the visit of the Women on Waves abortion ship to Ireland. Most people, I think, looked on the trip at best as a cheap publicity gimmick, at worst as an arrogant intrusion into our domestic affairs.
Holland has enough domestic problems of its own. It is the European capital of drugs, hardcore pornography and euthanasia , and the only country I know of where sexual intercourse between an adult and a 12-year-old child is legal. One would imagine that Dutch people with a missionary zeal have enough work to do at home.
As a society, we are not unique in having to address the issue of unexpected pregnancy. The same challenge to support women in crisis pregnancy confronts every society, as does the need to build a more welcoming environment for mothers and their unborn children. But the suggestion that legalised abortion is part of the solution ignores the brutal reality of abortion laws in other EU states where abortion is legal even up to birth. It follows that, once you deny the humanity of the unborn, there is no logical basis for introducing arbitrary time limits.
While any abortion rate is too high, nonetheless Ireland's remains the lowest in the EU. Even the Netherlands, where, we are told, rests the panacea to all our problems, has a higher abortion rate than Ireland, considering that early abortions carried out in doctors' surgeries do not feature in official Dutch statistics. - Yours, etc.,
Cora Sherlock, Court Apartments, Wilton Place, Dublin 2.