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Anti-abortionists need to clean up language

I must take issue with Donald Gale (Write Back, March 27) when he talks about Fionola Meredith's "hiding behind the term foetus".

It is a fact that a foetus is not a human being; it has only the potential to be such. It is, in fact, in a parasitic relationship with the pregnant female and can only survive as long as this relationship continues.

I would, therefore, suggest that the mother should have the legal right to terminate the relationship - if she so wishes.

Furthermore, if he takes issue with the 22-week deadline for terminations, why not simply make it legal for anyone to have a termination up to 12 weeks?

At this stage of development, the foetus does not even have a fingerprint and is incapable of survival outside the female's body.

The suggestion that human life begins at fertilisation is untenable since, at this stage, there is no difference between the zygote of a human and any other mammal.

The anti-abortion lobby continues to apply emotive terms both to the foetus and to those who defend the right of women to take responsibility of their own bodies.

I would challenge them to clean up their language, so that sensible debate can be had.

DAVID FULLERTON

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