Basic Matter in which arise in Discussions for and against Abortion
- Basic Matter in which arise in Discussions for and against Abortion
A) Definitions: Comparisons with Fatal Fœtal Abnormality: international Pressures
The Committee should explain what working definition of abortion is being used and on what basis it was chosen. Where a grievously ill conceptus (‘Fatal Fœtal Abnormality’) is mentioned, implications for the infirm and mentally ill should be explored. The American research into lasting, positive outcomes for parents, who let their disabled children be born, should be focused on.
Varied experiences have been reported by several countries with the UN and Amnesty International. In quoting any statements from these bodies, with reference to this jurisdiction, we recommend that the Committee provide a rationale it accepts.
B) Court Decisions and Laws may usefully be considered
The European Court has said it ‘had not been asked to decide when life began’. Skirting this essential issue and, without substantiation, the EC then said there was no agreement on when life began – but said nothing about the actual definition of ‘life’. Roe vs Wade, in 1973, also omitted this whole issue. The English Abortion Act, 1967, permits abortion where the lives of the mother and her child are so balanced that the child has no chance in practice. The Irish Supreme Court neither heard nor sought psychiatric evidence on X. Abortion was provided for, on foot of that case, despite maternal suicide being as rare as 1 in 500,000 cases. We recommend that the Committee give consideration to these legal issues.
Advances in Evolutionary and Prenatal Psychology and in our understanding of genetic hard-wiring (DNA-related) at conception, call into question loosely defined terms and erroneous science employed in providing for abortion. A public expectation of access to abortion has been regarded as supporting the practice. Expectation is, however, technically a psychological bias – not a basis for law.
C) Misleading Abortion Rhetoric An abundance of rhetoric has been devised to justify killing the Unborn.
We urge the Committee to recommend to the Oireachtas that, if a Referendum take place, public debate be framed in humanising terms. To ensure the best outcome, underlying scientific/biological realities – in phrases like: "I can do as I want with my body" – need to be explained.
Nature’s model for life begins when no more than food, water, oxygen and warmth are required. Every stage in human life is an integral part of the whole. Arguments to make abortion seem plausible, which refer to ‘clumps of cells’, ‘potential persons’, ‘self-awareness’ etc. do not stand scientific examination and need to be explained.
Abortifacient medications, with sanitised language, cause the fœtus to be dehumanised and killing is, in this way, sold to the public as being humane. The Committee could usefully consider the impact of the illegal importation of the Abortion Pill on surgical abortion rates.
D) What Science says about fœtal Capacities It will be wise to admit that pregnancy refers to a baby, not a terminable burden.
Science shows a fœtus can make moral decisions at 22 weeks and will likely begin to do this earlier. The conceptus is well equipped at 12 weeks, indeed, from the start, hard-wiring is completed genetically for several capacities, eg like making moral decisions and distinguishing types of music. There is no question but that life proceeds on a naturally mapped out route. This does not allow for times eg when killing is allowed because pain, as we know it, is not felt whilst pain, as eg a fish may feel, is not even considered.
Whether a child has an independent life at conception is often questioned. Science has shown that a child may be conceived and grown in a laboratory for many days. Work to allow growth from 22 weeks to birth, using another technology, is on-going. The likelihood is the ultimate attainment of full fœtal autonomy (growth to maturity, from conception). A campaign is needed to advise women especially on how to avoid the circumstances when unwanted babies are made. A Committee proposal to investigate the alternatives to abortion and the timely provision of these would be worthwhile. Included should be a clear requirement for fathers to act as such. Sentences for those who commit rape and incest should be designed so as to end this crime against women.