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Legalising abortion makes life disposable

Continuing our debate on abortion, David Fullerton (Write Back, April 20) underlines our opposing world views.

The crux of the matter is the personhood of the developing foetus, which Northern Ireland law recognises.

If its status is made dependent on the mother's attitude, then we are in the shifting sands of moral relativism: what is right for you is not necessarily right for me.

This allows the moral equivalence under the 1967 Abortion Act of saving the life of a 22-week premature baby in a special unit, while the life of one of similar age is being taken nearby. In this brave new world, a baby can be priceless or a piece of discardable waste, depending on the mother's view.

David favours the 1967 Act. It was never meant to provide abortion on demand, but it has. If disability is detected, abortion applies up to full term. Thus can the child go from precious to disposable.

On the one hand, we afford the disabled the best quality of life possible. We applaud their grit and determination in taking part in the Paralympics. On the other hand, we track them down and eliminate them pre-birth if we can.

Dominic Lawson (an atheist) holds that his happy and delightful Down's Syndrome daughter shames those who think such are not fit to live.

In view of the fact that a third of 23-week premature babies survive, there are calls for a lowering of the 24-week limit. Meanwhile, pro-abortionists are demanding termination at any stage for any reason.

A mother of a baby born at 23 weeks and now thriving said: "I think it quite sad that mothers abort at that stage. My daughter was a fully formed human being then." Some women are converted from their pro-abortion stance when they experience pregnancy.

David wants our law radically changed. Should this issue arise in our Assembly, I hope there will be a majority driven by conscience who will not sin against the unborn by lifting up their hand against them.

DONALD GALE

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