James MacMillan's assertion (Letters, May 15) that the abortion of female foetuses in India and China is western feminism's gift to the Third World is astounding.

Does he really not know about the pressures faced by women in India and China to produce sons?

Or that, far from being feminists exercising their "right to choose", the vast majority of women in these countries have no control over their own reproduction?

Unlike Mr MacMillan I lived in South Asia for more than ten years, and had ample opportunity to observe how women were regarded there.

The issue is not abortion as such but the selective killing of baby girls. Before amniocentesis existed female infanticide was widespread (as witness its condemnation in the Koran). Baby girls are still killed in rural areas of countries like India and China today.

This reflects the low status of women; it has nothing whatever to do with western feminism.

Iris Gill, Glasgow.