Page 5, 6th April 1973

6th April 1973
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Page 5, 6th April 1973 — Abortion and responsibility
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Abortion and responsibility

Peter Simple ul Ire Daily Telegraph could hardly ha., spired to greater heights 111.111 Mi. Hugh Kay (March 301 in displaying the nonsense of pro-aboi inimsts.

First Mr. Kay transports us with the news of co-author Dr. Malcolm Potts' "hrilliantis discussed" article ill The Month (or sluts / August, 1967). Later in his feature, however, Mr. Kay puts forward what I can only describe as "a delicious piece of Atalcolin Pottersthat nature itself "discards maltormations in spontooeous abortionsas a tentali% e argument in tio our of artificial termination of pregnancy.

May I suggest that Mr. Kay might do better to write an article informing pro-abortionists that "nature itser is responsible for cancer, for multiple sclera], .ind many other horrible diseases. I trust, however.

that M r. K.i dews not expect "responsible t atholles" to perform on a theological tiehtrope (reminiscent of the noltlieRMS in [Aram before deciding that it is humane to do everything possible to discover cures for such diseases and in the meantime to care for and to love the S ictims -rather than to hasten the course of nature and to legalise euthanasia.

I would very much like to he able

to compliment the theologians Mr. Kay quotes on "blinding us with se rte IICw" in their arguments as to whether or not the foetus has a -rational soul." IlOWeVer. the smite :tegument could he put forward (and is by the I !unionists) as to whether or not the liewhorn holly has a rational soul . . . or the mentally

defective . . of the criminally in sane . Or the senile. In fact. their didactics could he used to justify int:mitt:1de, euthanasia, and capital punishment all of which I regard as horrible.

ist r, Ku) 11 ISO reports the arguments ()I' theologians that the tinhorn child even after 12 weeks' gestation tun not he "endowed with the organs of human consciousness." I or more convincing, however. is the evidence put haw ord by Professor A. W. Liley

ho has been honoured through

out the a orld as the father of fool°. uical medicine) whose experiments have shown that even before the Os chili week of gestation the althorn child can and does "learn.

urther. Mr. Kay informs us that

"responsible Catholics" recognising that they could not prevent the passing of an abortion law "decided not to waste their time in trying to

. stop it altogether." May I point out

that (..irdinal I leenan on a number or occasions had admitted that this 1.1as a t irate mistake and one that we should not repeat. Moreover. 1 would ask was it responsible German Catholics ho. recognising that they could do little against linter, "decided not to v, aste their timeand sat hack while millions of Jews and Gypsies were sent to their deaths?

Perhaps, however, we could seek

out theologians (following the tradition Of the courts of inquisition) who 0 ould feel that responsible Catholics should debate very carefully whether or not they should have opposed the Nails in view Of the fact that we Cannot say with any degree Of certainty what the state of the souls it Jew s or Gypsies might he us they do not accept Baptism.

As somebody %via, has been in'

vowed in the fight against the present low from the beginning (at which time I was nut a Catholic) I would stress that the Catholics I knew knight bitterly to knock otit as many clauses as possible. This was not throwing in the sponge as one might imagine. It was the act of responsible humanitarians trying to save Its many lives as possible. Moreover. I would point out that every single one of those I know (including MP's) has continued to fight with its against the present law.

In so doing we are fully conscious

or the fact that the light against abortion is a fight for the whole of humanity — and this includes a fair deal for unmarried mothers. l'or unsupported families. better housing conditions for all, and more adequate research into abnormalities in the process of childbirth.

Indeed, how much easier our lives would he if we knew :is Laic about the %%hole problem as appears 10 he the ease with some theologians ... 1%, ha, argue as the:, mos. can never know when or how the soul might

either the body of the "little one" which is what the word fetus means.

Phyllis Bowman Sudety rot the Protection of Unborn Children. 47 Litton Place. London S.W.I.

Lloyd George

Inevitably, in Mr. Shackleton's letter of March 16, we are told about Lloyd George's threat of "immediate and terrible war".

Michael Collins is said always to have denied that Lloyd George used the expression, but to no avail. As well ask for justice for Cromwell! You are no more likely to publish my letter than any other Catholic paper. A. L Bongard g Ann Street,

Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland.

Contrary to what Hugh Kay says (March 30), the French Jesuit review' Etudes did indeed come out in favour of abortion.

It argued that. to begin with. the embryo has a merely "human" life, and that its "humanised" life begins only when its existence is acknowledged and willed by its parents, It is true it admitted that at "refusal of humanisation" is per se intolerable — except where "humanisation" seems to be impossible. But in this case the distinction between "human" and "humanised" life becomes important, for then "one cannot speak of abortion as being murder, since it derives precisely from the refusal or the impossibility of the humanisation of the embryo."

According to Etudes. an embryo that has a merely "human" life possesses neither dignity nor rights. It is only by a decision of its parents that it becomes "humanised" and receives the right to life and all the other associated rights.

The Etudes team are, however, aware that parents may prove to be poor judges in their own case. They therefore propose a "Council" which would be endowed with juridical competence to examine all applications for termination of pregnancy. '

As Marcel Clement. distinguished editor of L'Hontme Nouveau says of this monstrous proposal, it is an "Institute of Death" that is being advocated by the Etudes team.

By contrast with such notions, which are worthy of the British Humanist Association, consider the authentic teaching of the Church, which Pope Paul reminds-us is both "unchanged . and unchangeable." On December 9th, 1972, he insisted that the protection of human life "must start. not from birth . .. but from conception." adding: "How can it be denied, then, that he (the conceived child) has from the first moment of life that title to rights

which today . coincides with the very juridical concept of the person?"

Ilamish Fraser I Waverley Place.

Saltcoats.

Teachers

sherry party has hcen :arranged lor ( athishe delegates to the loElltroniine conlerenee of the National ill I Qaclivrs. II will he held 011 I ,user S11111.1.1) I10111 1, 11.111. to 7 pm,. sal St. Peter-, social

I. tot, siii.el.

tinluu^h \1t c. II Shed!. 111i:01_1CM 01 the C ttllulle I edehiers I edcralion. will he pleased to welcome all otholie delegates.

Edward NI. Brash,

I.\ck..tili‘c Menthes. N.1 1 14 1iwrdrtn Rood.

t. aide rstones.

IN;rpool. I 1, vll \

I was interested to read Hugh Kay's article (March 30) in this week's edition of your paper, concerning the Catholic Church's attitude to abortion and was prompted to put my beliefs as a Catholic into print.

How can any Christian and especially at Catholic Christian believe that an abortion of the human species can ever he justified? Were we not taught that God created us to know, love and serve him in this world and to he happy with him in the next onc. Does it not follow therefore, that every conception from the beginning to the end of time was intended by God? The question of the "accidents" does not arise and the use of contraceptives only thwarts God's will. In the fullness of time, whom God intended to be created will be created because Satan cannot prevail against God.

Let us suppose for a moment that a tiny foetus is riot a person and that therefore the "doctor" who destroyed it is not a murderer. If he is not strictly a murderer he must nevertheless be guilty of a hideous crime, and if a Catholic of mortal sin. for destroying that which was undoubtedly intended by God to be one of his children.

Has not the Church through the ages regarded the moment of conception as the moment of a person's existence?

Cali any of your readers tell us which great saint it was who had visions of all the souls who should have been born'?

Finally — can any Christian, for one moment. imagine Jesus agreeing to or advocating abortion. R. Bernard Taylor 10 Bootham Road,

Billericay, Essex.

Contact

Miss Murphy of Contact is quoted(March 23) as saying: -These girls are under terrific pressure from social workers to, have an abortion."

While there is no formal code of ethics for social workers in this country at present, a number of principles arc widely accepted. One is that where a client has the choice of a number of (legal) ways out of a problem, the social worker should not pressurise him or her into taking any one of them, especially where this would he against the client's own conscience.

Miss Murphy's remark, if accurately reported, constitutes, therefore, an allegation of serious professional misconduct. AS suer), It should he either substantiated or withdrawn.

P. A. Baldock I la South Walk, Hough Hill Road, Stalyhridge, Cheshire




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