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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 9. 1ts May 1973

A Picket for Death

A Picket for Death

'Cure or kill' has for loo long been the war-cry of the pro-abortionists. Their 'good news' is spread far and wide by medium of tear-jolting or indignant articles and posters which conclude with a plug for the 'right of the mother/woman to control her own body'.

For my Pant I am anti-abortion and pro-woman. My argument rests on one principle; that human life, in no matter what form, deserves the utmost respect. I am against backstreet abortions, 'therapeutic' abortion, euthanasia, murder, robbery and rape. I believe there are some things that by their very nature are simply Wrong! Statements like these have rocked many a 'fleshy' foundation so please don't hesitate to spit blood—but do read on.

Does the so called 'mother/child' dilemma necessitate abortions? The evidence is that cases are rare. Is there a pool of misery in this country as a result of denying women abortions? No! Abortions are done.

My point is this; a denial that human life exists from the moment of conception is scientifically untenable. From the time of conception the embryo exhibits characteristics that are unmistakably human. With appropriate methods of examination there is no question of confusion with the embryo of any other animal species. By the time a woman is only two weeks past the date of her period the baby's heart is beating within its body. The foetus does not live off the mother although up until a certain age cannot live independently of her. By the age of two months, the embryo has acquired human features which are easily recognise able. It has a brain, skeleton, joints and muscles. It can move and respond to stimuli such as pain.

Life is present; and the life is not bird life, or elephant life or whatever, it is clearly human. Which brings us to consider the absolute right to life of an innocent human being. What amuses me most is that our generation screams for an end to war and social injustice of all kinds; why?—presumably because we consider that human life is worth something more than most other things we have stumbled across. But when it comes to abortion, the tide turns to a picket for death.

Pra-abortionists maintain that they appeal to the saving-power of logic. Rather, I would suggest that they are illogical in the light of what seems to be another of the 'catch-cries '—love and do what you will! This is the way they lose credibility among their peers. Do they think our intelligence quotients are generally low, or can their naivety be attributed to wishful thinking?

The spokeswoman for W.A.A.C. wrote in the 'Salient' of March 29: "Abortion cannot be isolated from other birth control methods." Well, I am sorry Miss/Madam, but your statement is ambiguous to say the least. If you are asking us to accept that prevention of pregnancy amounts to the same thing as termination of pregnancy, then as an interested commentator I venture to say: Tsk! Tsk!

But there's more even yet; Dr Margaret Sparrow, from the Student Health Service, was asked a question concerning the 'morning after' pill (Salient, April 11, P9); the question was: "Isn't that an abortion?" Dr Sparrow's answer was: "Don't ask awkward questions, there is no precise definition of abortion and authorities don't agree on when human life begins."

The doctor has put herself out on a thin limb. I have it on very good authority that the 'morning after' pill induces a very small, but nonetheless true abortion; the fertilised egg or ovum is prevented from implanting itself on the wall of the uterus. The fact is that conception has already taken place. What is more, the term 'post-coital' contraception as used in this instance is in-correct, something like inviting a person inside free of charge and telling him to pay at the door! What is popularly known as the 'morning after' pill is otherwise known as an 'abortafacient'—it's effect is different from that of the regular pill in kind and not simply in degreee as was suggested.

Let it be said that the anti-abortionists campaign against the direct killing of the foetus either as a means or as an end. There are procedures followed by doctors as a matter of course and for the safety of the life of any woman, which have as a side-effect, the death of an unviable foetus. So long as certain conditions are adhered to, such procedures are and always have been morally acceptable to all. Catholics included.

Barry Leech