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The Word on the Week

Martin’s U-turn

When Michael Martin the leader of Fianna Fail announced this week that he now favoured the introduction of abortion up to 3 months he confounded his Party. Up to then he had been stanchly pro-life.
The 8th Amendment to the Constitution – The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

This has protected babies in the womb from abortion but, in a small number of cases, presented doctors with a dilemma. This arises when the unborn child is well but for medical reasons the mother’s life can only be saved by an abortion as part of her treatment.
In order to fulfil the letter of the law the doctors should permit the mother to die but save her child. The doctors require some comfort from the law should they attempt to save the mother at the expense of the child. At present the Constitution offers no such comfort.

Two other circumstances are said to be grounds for abortion. The first is where an abnormality appears to be detected in the womb. This has led to the automatic aborting, in some countries, of Down’s Syndrome babies (Iceland has no Down’s children).
The second is in cases where the mother is a victim of rape. The mother has already gone through the most horrendous experience and requires much love and assistance. Her human rights have been violated but it is a contentious matter to suggest the violation of the rights of the unborn who is the innocent party in the rape.

No other country has been able to frame abortion laws which prevent the ultimate introduction of abortion on demand. By suggesting that we permit it during the first 3 months of the pregnancy Martin has left the pro-life and joined the pro-choice lobby. Since most abortions occur during the first 3 months to bring in legislation to cater for it introduces a culture of death with a knock-on devaluation of human life.

The lines have been drawn clearly and it should not be beyond the wit of legislators to produce a bill to meet the situation without introducing abortion on demand. Whatever they do will be attacked by the pro-choice lobby who will not rest till we have the same facilities for abortion as the UK and the US of A.

Jesus placed a high value on children in an age when they were largely overlooked (St Mark Chapter 10 verses 10/11). The fact of the child’s life beginning at conception was well established (Psalm 139 verse 13). In addition, the unborn as part of the human race have the unique distinction of being created in the image of God (Genesis Chapter 1 verse 27). They are not unwanted puppies that have to be put down but unique creations made for fellowship with the triune God.
This fellowship is available to all who recognise their need of cleansing and forgiveness for sins which they have committed. These could include abortion (Jeremiah Chapter 31 verses 31/34. All this was fulfilled in Jesus when he died bearing our sins and rose again to ensure that all those who come to him will never be rejected (St John Chapter 6 verses 35/37).