Colette Douglas Home asks us to celebrate the end of the "horror" of illegal "backstreet" abortion ("Our silence on the issue of abortion speaks volumes", The Herald, September 24).

Abortion, whether legal or illegal, is always a horror because it results in the death of an unborn child and always carries a serious risk of physical and psychological harm to the mother.

Advocates of abortion have exaggerated the number of women who died as a result of "backstreet" abortion. During the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act MPs were led to believe that thousands of women were dying every year. In reality, there were 32 tragic maternal deaths caused by abortion in 1966.

Deaths have continued since the passage of the Abortion Act.

All women deserve better than abortion.

John Smeaton,

chief executive, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, 3 Whitacre Mews,

Stannary Street,