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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973

Abortion and Human Values

Abortion and Human Values

Dear Sir,

One of the most conspicuous features of the comments made by the small group of pro-abortion women in these pages, and, indeed by Evelyn Reed in her speech last term was the equating of civil laws, court decisions or the like, with basic morality and human values.

Trevor Richards, speaking in the Union Hall here just a couple of months ago, said his main reason for opposing the Springbok tour was that the apartheid system violated the moral principles common to all men. Yet we see that apartheid in South Africa is enshrined by public laws upheld by the courts. So the simple fact that a court has decided in favour of apartheid, abortion, economic exploitation, etc., does not mean that it is a right and just decision.

Furthermore, the bias of the court, its basic assumptions, will have a lot to do with the final decision. The South African judges are, no doubt, so convinced of an African's inferiority that they just do not think of deciding in favour of a black man against a white as justice and truth could demand. Such was the situation too, in Germany under Hitler. The judges certainly upheld the State's murder of the Jews and mental patients and old people and the sick.

In this recent American court decision on abortion, the two dissenting judges said "The Court apparently values the convenience of the pregnant mother more than the continued existence and development of the life or potential life which she carries". So we can understand to a certain extent how, when Justice Blackman, senior of the nine-man U.S. Supreme Court, was asked why the court had not considered modern evidence on the humanity of the foetus, he could reply simply that the court 'had not had time'. In other words they didn't care all that much about the child.

People in the future will look back on these times and considering the wars, the exploitation, the greed of developed nations, and I would add, the use of abortion, will call us ignorant and barbaric as humans will always be.

So Evelyn and those who think like her had better stop and consider their rapid equation of a law or court decision with human values.

M. Cotton.