by Paula Davies
LIFE, an organisation op posing legislation permitting abortion, has taken an advertisement in the ultraprogressive New Statesman which has upset the paper's editor.
The advertisement begins: "Lord Soper describes the unborn child as a piece of foetal jelly". It shows a picture of a 16-week-old foetus with the comment: "It doesn't look like jelly, really".
Describing the foetus, it points out that in a few months it could he lying in a cot — and even earlier might be able to survive in an incubator. "But this boy . .. was destroyed . . under the provisions of the 1967 Abortion Act."
The advertisement describes in detail the commonest methods of abortion, and asks just how progressive and humane the Act is.
Fearful lest the feelings of his readers should be outraged, Mr. Crossman's leader in that issue of the New Statesman says that while he upholds "the right of 'LIFE' to choose the New Statesman as the medium in which to publish this advertisement, we must make it clear that it seems to us to be both disingenuous and offensive.
"Its purpose is to represent the practice of abortion as the equivalent to the butchering of a baby lying in its cot. . . . It invites the reader to imagine the aborted embryo as a funloving, thumb-sucking 16-weekold 'you and me', with a heart throbbing sturdily away for all to hear.
"If any of our readers fail to realise it already, we must state that this is wilfully misleading rubbish. In fact, two thirds of all abortions are carried out within the first three months of pregnancy, at which time Lord Soper's description of the embryo as a piece of foetal jelly is by no means misleading. Only a very few abortions have to be delayed until the sixteenth week".
Martin Mears. a Norfolk solicitor and the general secretary of "LIFE" commented: "Mr. Crossman suggests that we are misleading on Lord Soper's statement. Before the advertising manager would accept our copy, we had to write to Lord Soper to tell him what we were going to say, Lord Soper wrote hack .trid confirmed that we had quoted him correctly. We also had to supply chapter and versa: for our other assertions".
Since the Society was formed in August, 7,000 copies of the booklet "Abortion, a Crime", have been sold,
The conflict generation
THINGS are just not what they used to be in the States, according to novelist and journalist William J. Wetherby, who has lived in New York for the past seven years. "The present generation there has been educated by the racial conflict of the sixties," he contends.
"Leaders who might have provided a way out of the crisis, such as John and Robert Kennedy, have been assassinated," he said, and he also instanced the effect on the coloured population of the killing of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Not surprisingly. 39-year-old bachelor Wetherby is seriously thinking of re-settling in his native Britain. Among his novels are "Breaking the Silence," "Out of Hiding" and his latest, "One of Our Priests is Missing."
He was educated at St. Mary's College, Manchester. He has been a foreign correspondent 'for the Guardian, and has contributed to the Month, The Times I irelary Supplement, the Lecnia,g News and the CATHOLIC HERA' D. Currently working for the international ,magazine, Newsweek. his relaxation time he devotes to the arts.
pr HE "Rights for Life" cam paign which sixth-formers of Adelphi House Convent Grammar School. Salford, have set in motion at school level, has spread to Merseyside.
The Salford girls, some of whom attended the interChurch protest rally in Liverpool recently when an application was going through the Liverpool City Council for the registration of Lynnwood, the Aigburth nursing home, as a private abortion clinic, have wiriten to Merseyside Catholic .secondary schools to ask them to join in a national youth protext against the Abortion Act.
They are seeking support for a Holy Innocents Day protest on December 28. The Salford girls suggest that religious services should be organised in local churches, and provide ideas for carols, biblical texts and special prayers. They are also hoping for all-night vigils and silent marche..
Peking link with Vatican
A T et everyone
know', dee the Vatican and tee ties F.ee not exactly on
speAine. there is more to the n rtt JtaltiStlu than the sounds of silence so obvious to everyone. At odd intervals a bundle arrives at the Vatican Observatory at Castelgandolfo —from Peking. For astronomieal research is about the only regular channel of communication between the two States.
An interview with the Rome newspaper II Messaggero by Mgr. Agostino Casaroli, secretary for the Public Affairs of the Church, disclosed that Peking does send astronomical data to the Vatican.
Not that the astronomers read it all. Fr. Patrick J. Treanor S. J., director of the observatory said : "We do get the occasional package—just odds and ends. It's no hot line. And most of it is propaganda, that sort of junk, mostly Mao". Fr, Treanor leaves it to Mgr. Casaroli to read, as he is too busy.
Fr. Treanor is recognised as one of the outstanding astronomers in Europe, Born in London 50 years ago and educated at St. Ignatius College, Stamford Hill, he received a doctorate from Oxford University for his work in solar spectroscopy and was a research fellow at Balliol from 1954 to 1959. He has also been a research associate in the universities of California and Chicago and editor of the journal the Observatory.
In 1961 he went to the Vatican Observatory as assistant and was this year appointed director. He is known for having introduced several new techniques in observational astronomy and is at its present studying the structure of the galaxy_ He doesn't think too much of the Chinese data research appears to have been at a low ebb for some time past. Curiously, some of it may he corning from the Jesuits' own pupils who took over the observatory at Gi Ka Wei when the Order was expelled from China. Fr. Treanor said: "It is a sign of goodwill, even if muffled goodwill," He will stick to observing stars; observing Peking is the job for Mgr. Casaroli.
Church window in danger
THE great West window of St. Etheldreda's, Ely Place —the largest window in any London church—will be "practically invisible" if a plan to erect a six-storey building in Hatton Garden goes through, said Fr. Francis O'Malley, rector of St. Etheldreda's. He is vigorously opposing the plan.
The window, filled with new stained glass six years ago at a cost of £6,000, depicts the Tudor martyrs. Spanish, French, Italian and German embassies contributed £500 each to the work, which was carried out by Charles Blakeman.
St. Etheldreda's, built in 1251, is thought to be the finest example of the Early English Decorated style still in existence, and is the only pre-Reformation church in the City still in Catholic hands.
The right to start equal
SIR Winston Churchill once said .he had no objection to everyone being equal; what he objected to was the attempt to keep everyone equal. What, we ;wonder, would he have said about the plight of so many educated youngsters who were born here but cannot get a jab because they are coloured? In other words, they don't even start out equal.
A recent survey revealed that 22 per cent of black boys between 16 and 24 are jobless, compared with just over 21 per cent of the same white age group. Since June this year an employment agency, International Personnel, has been trying to do something about a potentially explosive situation.
Located just opposite Balham station, in South London, the agency does not ask for special treatment, or for people to 'be placed in jobs for which they are unqualified. It is run by Brian Jones, aged 3S, former community relations and youth employment officer. It is supported by a 12,000 grant from its sponsor, Christian Action, and has had 270 applications in 12 months.
Of these, the agency has so far managed to place 20 and last week had a current case load of 190, including eight 'barristers and several engineers. Many of these are turned down even for routine clerical jobs which are easily within their capability.
Mr. Jones said: "There is more discrimination about than most people realise." He sees their main problem as getting the agency really known, as they cannot afford extensive advertising in the national Press.