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What is a foetus if it is not a human being?

In his letter of March 29, David Fullerton writes: "It is a fact that a foetus is not a human being; it has only the potential to be such."

Discussions of abortion seem to be a mixture of discussions about facts and discussions about values.

What David Fullerton apparently means is that he does not value the foetus as a human being, because his/her dependence on the mother makes the foetus unworthy, in his eyes, of human protection.

This is itself a sad confession to make. However, if we are talking facts, they are the opposite of what he says: a foetus is an actual being of some kind and, if so, what actual being is it, if not an actual human being?

PROFESSOR STEPHEN WILLIAMS

Union Theological College, Belfast

Belfast Telegraph

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