Catholics for Choice


Sir, –– I refer to the article by Jon O’Brien “Most Catholics trust women on abortion issue” (Rite & Reason, January 16th).

Jon O’Brien, before working for Catholics for Choice, worked for the Irish Family Planning Association. What do both of those organisations have in common? Well, for one thing, the former is funded by that pro-abortion billionaire George Soros, and the latter was funded recently by that same billionaire.

Couldn’t The Irish Times at least not treat its readers, including its Catholic readers, as utter morons?

What Mr O’Brien says is utter piffle. A Catholic excommunicates himself or herself if he or she supports abortion politically. That excommunication is latae sententiae, ie automatic. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 14.

Sir, – Jon O’Brien as a Catholic will be aware that the Catholic Church has had varied teaching about abortion over the centuries prior to modern-day science. St Thomas Aquinas taught that abortion was not homicide until there was a soul present at “quickening” (around 12 weeks) . So, actually, it is religion and not science which provides a possible moral defence of killing the unborn since this concept of a soul as defining personhood is a religious one.

Science provides us with no such hiding place as we know that the tiny foetus is exactly the same genetically as the whopping great 12 week foetus sucking its thumb and the 26-week foetus with its grandad’s chin clearly recognisable on 3D ultrasound.

Furthermore, if a religious person tells me that they believe that God endows a foetus with a soul at 12, 16 or 20 weeks and that before then it can be killed as it is non-human, then I’m afraid I’ll have to tell them that may be so but that I prefer to stick with science. Science has confirmed what is most people’s intuition whether they are Catholic or not: that the growing foetus is fully human, though different from an adult, in every important, scientific way. The fact that the Catholic Church at present happens to be in accordance with scientific thought should not undermine those hard facts!

The problem with Jon O’Brien’s “pro-choice” view is not that it is anti-Catholic, but that it is anti-science and anti-human rights. The current position of the Catholic Church on the Eighth Amendment is perfectly consistent with science and human rights and seems to be hugely important to Catholics who view their church’s mission as one of standing up for the lowly, inconvenient, unwanted and voiceless people in society. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.