Letter: Alice Mahon obituary

Margaret Boyle writes: former Labour MP devoted decades to defending and extending women’s rights

Alice Mahon devoted decades to defending and extending women’s rights. She was a vice-president of the National Assembly of Women up to her death. I worked with her in the 1990s and 2000s and saw the courage and energy she put in – in parliament, the Labour party and the community – to protecting abortion rights in the UK. She never gave up because she believed that controlling your body was a fundamental right for all women.

Her early work as an auxiliary nurse had shown her the terrible consequences for working-class women when abortion was illegal. She saw abortion rights as a feminist demand and a socialist demand, a politics based on passion, principle and lived experience.

This may make her sound dull, but she was warm, great fun, with a wicked sense of humour and a love of kicking off her shoes and celebrating life with friends and comrades.

Margaret Boyle

The GuardianTramp

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