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Attitudes change as time passes and we will all come to see what is the violence of abortion

 

American human rights campaigner Shelley Douglas says that 'as time passes we will come to understand the violence of abortion'.

In the spring time years ago, robbing birds' nests was a common pursuit among young country boys. Some would take the nest with the little eggs into school and the teacher would put it on display.

Others would just take the eggs, break them open, examine the little squirming pink creatures inside and kill them or leave them to die.

In the well-known folk song 'The Verdant Braes of Screen', the young lover says: "I will climb a high, high tree and I'll rob a wild bird's nest, and I'll bring back what I find there to the arms I love the best."

It was all very acceptable. Some people would have objected, but they would have been considered cranks. After all, these were only little birds in the egg with a limited life span anyway; they do live only for about a year.

However, time passed and more people came to understand the violence and inhumanity of this practice. Laws were enacted to protect the little developing life in the egg.

The UK Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, makes it an offence to 'take or destroy an egg of any wild bird'. Offenders can be fined up to £5,000 or sentenced to six months in prison.

The South of Ireland introduced similar legislation, the Wildlife Act 1976 and the north of Ireland introduced the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985.

The Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, enacted in 1983, offers similar protection to human beings in the womb, but my Sinn Fein colleague Mary Lou McDonald wants to repeal that article.

She should call for a repeal of the Wildlife Act 1976 too, rather than appear to be more concerned about the unhatched than she is about the unborn.

Francie Brolly

Dungiven

Belfast Telegraph

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