Fair about the bairns

December 15, 1995

Gavin Fairbairn's article highlighting his anti-abortion stance (THES, December 8) certainly instigated an interesting debate, particularly his comment that "an increasing number of people spend their lives saying one thing, believing another and doing something quite different altogether".

My views re abortion in no way accord with his, but I agree with him that he should be allowed to express his point of view and not be strait-jacketed by the politically correct brigade. It is up to us to highlight the inadequacies in his argument as opposed to denying him the opportunity to voice his beliefs.

Certain politicians have a reputation for saying one thing and doing another. I believe that, as a person of integrity and honesty, I have to live according to my beliefs and principles. My own experience of life in academe is that when you do this quite often you provide an opportunity for narrow-minded colleagues to criticise.

As an unmarried (by choice) mother (by choice) I have had comments relayed to me about the "selfishness" of women who choose to give birth but not to marry and who return to work prior to the child's first birthday. Am I naive to expect more open-mindedness from supposedly erudite and mentally receptive people?

Jacqui Briggs Senior lecturer in social policy and politics University of Humberside

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