Letters to the Editor

Abortion is what it is

Monday, April 01, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I was in Parliament recently listening to the deliberations on the issue of abortion. One argument was that the unborn child is one of the woman's body parts, and she alone should decide whether to do away with the part or not.

It seemed strange to so class the unborn child, who is certainly genetically different from the mother, and half the time is of a different gender as well. By what stretch of the imagination can the unborn child be construed to be just a woman's body part?

Another argument suggested that there is some period after conception when the unborn child is not a living human being. The basis on which this contention rests eludes me. The entire genetic complement of a human being is present at conception. The womb is the enabling environment in which the genetic code is first expressed. This results in the baby we see at birth. The expression continues as we grow, mature, and age through the stages of life. It was all there at conception.

The related argument that the baby becomes viable at some point in the pregnancy, and before that, is the inference, non-viable, is a very feeble argument, indeed. All human beings need an enabling environment to live, grow, and develop. Take it away, and they die. For the unborn child, that environment is the womb. For other stages of life, it is outside the womb, supplying air (how long would we live without it?), water (same question), food, clothing, etc. From birth to old age, we all need enabling environments. The unborn child's need of one is a non-issue.

The euphemisms we employ to describe abortion cannot disguise its true nature. Its purpose is to kill an unborn child and a procedure which doesn't achieve this singular objective is deemed to have failed. The gruesome methods employed to kill the child in the womb cannot be detailed in a family newspaper.

As I listened to Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, the Bill's sponsor, I shared her oft-expressed concern about young women who become pregnant through rape. She dwelt on the “young women” part, leading me to wonder if older women who become pregnant through rape should be treated differently. Even in these dreadful circumstances, the question arises: What has the unborn child done to deserve a death sentence? Nobody is minimising the horror of rape. It is a terrible crime, like many others we perpetrate against each other, and we have laws and agencies to deal with perpetrators.

She also questioned whether young women should be locked away for years if they procured an abortion. This is an emotive argument, and I got the feeling that she was advocating abortion as the best solution in those circumstances. It is not. One medical doctor shared with the committee her personal experience spanning decades of practice in which she dealt with exactly the persons who so concerned Cuthbert-Flynn, namely, young women who were rape victims. She spoke forthrightly about the dozens of women who decided to carry the baby and that in her subsequent interactions with them none of them expressed any regret for bearing the child. Relatively few who received the appropriate intervention, such as counselling, opted for abortion, so there is a proven alternative intervention to abortion.

We should reject any attempt to legitimise the slaughter of the innocents.

Michael R Nicholson


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