Debate On Abortion


Sir, - I read with interest the article on abortion by Medb Ruane (Opinion, August 4th) and would be grateful if you would accept a few comments.

The distinction between a foetus/child at 10 weeks and 24 weeks is in fact a question of different stages of natural development within the continuum of the life of a person. The first child in my family responded to Irish music at an early stage in the pregnancy. She has been enjoying and playing that music ever since.

On October 30th 1999 the Irish Independent carried a remarkable photograph taken in the course of a successful operation in the US on a 21-week old foetus. The tiny hand of a child could be clearly seen reaching out to clasp the surgeon's healing finger. This child could have been legally aborted under US law.

The distinction between "direct" and "indirect abortion" is far more significant than the difference between a 10- and 24-week old foetus. The former is the deliberate taking of the child's life whereas "indirect abortion" occurs in the course of healing treatment required by its mother. - Yours, etc.,

Eamon Fitzpatrick, Cummeen, Strandhill Road, Sligo.