Origins of life

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IN DEFENCE of abortion (Letters, 2 May) Les Reid employs the familiar tactic of denying the humanity of the unborn child by telling us “a foetus, or an embryo, or a fertilised egg, is not a baby”.

However, Mr Reid fails to realise that at the moment of conception a new human life is begun and modern genetic science clearly confirms this.

At the earliest point, at conception, a child has a unique DNA and genomic character and is already unlike anyone who has been conceived or born before or anyone who will be conceived or born afterwards. It is a distinct human life and like all human life in a civilised society should have a right to exist.

The fertilised egg is not a baby in the sense that we all know but it is a new human life and it takes time for that new human being to develop.

Mr Reid then tries to justify his stance using the well-used rape argument. The truth, rather than the false emotionalism, is that these tragedies provide less than a fraction of 1 per cent of the reasons for abortion and they are mentioned by abortion advocates simply to make pro-lifers appear extreme.

A rapist is a criminal, his child is not.

Having said all this, however, there are also people who are the children of rapists. In other words, men and women whose mothers were raped and who are alive because those women refused to have an abortion, even though they had suffered so much. Try looking such a person in the eye, and explaining how it would have been a better thing if they had never been born. 

Finally, he concludes that “we must always have legal abortion services and why we must defend the 1967 Abortion Act”.

Les Reid would do well to know that since the introduction of the Act, fewer than 150 of the eight million abortions that have taken place, were carried out for the very reason the Act was introduced – to save the life of a woman whose pregnancy posed a mortal danger to her life.

The outright, deliberate destruction of unborn human life can never be accepted.

Disrespect for the unborn ­signals wider disrespect for human life and is morally corrosive.

Martin Conroy


East Lothian