You’d never know from the report of Rev David Robertson’s views that some people accept transgender rights and same-sex marriage and hold left-wing views, but also dislike abortion ('Abortion, transgender rights, same-sex marriage, if you don’t accept them you’re a right-wing scumbag … I’m used to that …’, News, January 10). You’d never know that there are secular and social arguments against it.

Organisations like Feminists for Life, in America, and the much earlier Women for Life, in the UK (not the genuinely reactionary Women for Life International), have argued that current abortion policy underwrites the poor conditions and low status of mothers, especially poor and single mothers, and is a cheap substitute for radical reform. Indeed, poverty and prejudice are often used as arguments for abortion.

For me the ideological turning point came in 1974, when Keith Joseph made his notorious claim that "our human stock is threatened" by too many children being born to the wrong kind of women. I was pregnant with my second child, and it was me and my kids he was talking about, since I was unmarried (thus immoral) and a typist (thus social class five and stupid). The speech was not about abortion. But it led me, as a left-winger and feminist who had previously supported abortion, to recognise that programme as one of eugenics and social cleansing – whatever the delusions of its proponents.

To enforce left-wing conformity on the issue, labels like "right-wing scumbag" are applied to anyone who questions the reality of "choice" for poor and single women, who expresses distaste for the brutality of full-term abortion, or who supports the parents of handicapped children: parents who are blamed for giving birth to "burdens to society". Instead of open debate, we get the phony debate that assigns all opposition to the likes of the Free Church of Scotland.

Katherine Perlo


It is of course commendable to champion the women’s rights and the rights of all sectors of society (Supporting the right to choose, News, Jan 3). However the group in our society with the greatest need for protection are the unborn. Too vulnerable to protect themselves, it is the unborn who are the great "unprotected" of our society. In a society which in a generation has moved human rights on in so many areas it is time for the rights of the unborn to rise up the agenda. Let us hope that if abortion is devolved Scotland can lead the way in protecting the unborn and championing the rights of the truly vulnerable baby in the womb.

Callum Henderson