Essential science

January 28, 2005

It was shocking to read an academic arguing that science had no place in the abortion debate (Soapbox, January 21). Good science is exactly what we need to inform policymaking in this area. Not the emotionally loaded pseudo-science that is conveniently rolled out to support anti-abortionist positions, but sound research evidence about the viability of independent life for a foetus.

Contrary to views expressed by some pro-choice advocates, many people who strongly support abortion rights also recognise the need for guidelines on upper time limits.

These have to be developed via honest engagement with the best scientific evidence. Pro-choicers cannot wish away the reality that some extremely pre-term babies survive with relatively minor adverse effects.

Lis Cordingley
Manchester

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