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‘God’ shouldn’t choose

Mr Steve Jack, I for one must disagree with you on the right for women to choose whether they want a baby or not.

I was an unwanted baby. My biological mother had two unwanted babies. Does not the man have to take some responsibility in this? I was put into an orphanage at six weeks. There are a lot of unwanted children in this world.

When I was in my teens a young girl of 14 was raped and found herself to be pregnant. She was sent off to Wales to live with her aunty through her pregnancy and birth. She never brought the baby home and it was never talked about. She then went back to school as if nothing had happened. This tore the family apart.

I can also recall a lady when I was in hospital having my first child. She told me that this was her tenth baby. She also had three miscarriages. She and her husband were Roman catholic. She wanted to be sterilised and the hospital was willing to do this for her. One afternoon the priest arrived and as I was in the next bed and could hear all that was said. The priest told her that she could not be sterilised as it was God’s wish that she should have babies and called her wicked.

Her reply was that she that she had enough babies for God and would not leave the hospital until she was sterilised. The priest tried so hard to change her mind over at least two hours. He finally left when it was tea-time, leaving her in tears. I was discharged and she was still in her bed. I saw her a few months later and my, did she look good and she was happy.

Why does this man-made ‘God’ tell people what they can and cannot do. Or is it the preachers that lay down these rules?

I well remember getting into an e-mail discussion with a minister. He told me that pain in childbirth was God’s punishment for every woman because of Eve eating the fruit of knowledge.

I too would have marched in the streets with the women of Ireland.

Janet Woodham, Scotby Avenue, Old Town, Swindon

Correct decision

Steve Jack wrote to criticise the celebration of the historic victory in the recent Irish referendum, which is the result of at least 35 years of campaigning against the denial of women having control over their own bodies in the context of abortion rights. Women were denied an abortion even if the pregnancy was due to rape or incest.

The victory was against a clause in the Irish constitution which subordinated the rights of women to those of a foetus. It took until 2013 for a law to be passed which legalised abortion if the woman’s life was at risk. This law followed the death of Savita Halappanavar in a Galway hospital after she was refused an abortion during a miscarriage. She died of septicaemia as doctors weighed up the rights of the foetus. The same law left a 14-year jail sentence over the heads of women who attempted to get an abortion.

In the referendum the pro-choice movement has defeated some truly backward forces. When a 14-year-old rape victim was prevented from coming to England for an abortion by a High Court injunction the division was laid bare boosting the pro-choice campaign further as did the 2014 case of a young rape victim who was denied an abortion and force fed when she went on hunger strike.

I think the celebration is well deserved.

Peter Smith, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Outdated institution

During the recent royal wedding I overheard someone announce, ‘Harry is one of us!’

I piped up: ‘ One of us? How do you work that out? He’s one of them - a multimillionaire playboy.’

Silence ensued (as the novelists say).

Their first duty or ‘work’ was to attend a Buckingham House party! A sign of yet more hard ‘work’ to come?

Meghan is now a “royal”. So ladies will curtsey and men bow to a once commoner. What does that tell us about the bogus nature of “royalty”?

The monarchy epitomises everything that is wrong with the class system in Britain today.

We pay for the royal panto. Reroute the money to our ailing NHS for OUR benefit. Re-open childrens’ homes, libraries, lower the pernicious council taxes.

None of them will ever have to face making ends meet, borrow, get into debt, made homeless, etc; they get free money. It has been estimated that the fat cat monarchy ‘earns’ the average salary in just one hour.

It’s ironic that under this draconian government that justifies harsh welfare cuts by preaching, ‘you don’t get something for nothing,’ that the royals prove otherwise.

To be proud of the monarchy is to revel in unfairness and despise democracy. An elitist institution exploiting to the full the political system, and abusing public funds, all premised on some spurious notion of tradition and heritage.

It warrants no place in a 21st century democracy.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

Where are the people?

Whilst assisting my friend unload his recently purchased Scandinavian flat packed furniture and then listening to him convincing only himself that it is not that bad of quality, something suddenly dawned on me.

Swindon is an historic industrial town with a mixture of born and breds and relocators who moved here primarily because of the railway works and later the pressed steel works. This has created a town of hard grafting, working class people who are profoundly thrifty and always looking for a so called bargain.

The out of town shopping centres and the Outlet Centre will attract people from out of town whose purpose on visiting such shops will be to spend money. This leaves the town centre relying on its residents and maybe the town just doesn’t have the inhabitants willing to part with their hard earned money. Maybe it isn’t a lack of decent shops but a lack of people willing to open their wallets and support them!

Mr A Collins, Broome Manor Lane, Swindon

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