November 6th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Why Bush is better for Australia ...

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Labor in shock after its disastrous rout

QUARANTINE: Citrus canker: Biosecurity Australia must be held accountable

ENVIRONMENT: How Howard can neutralise green vote

INTEREST RATES: Myth and reality of Reserve Bank independence

INDONESIA: Yudhoyono's new deal for Australia

TAIWAN: Cross-strait issue a delicate balance

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Not so noble a prize / Wickedness / Demonology / Indonesia

IRAQ WAR: Did Saddam Hussein back al-Qa'ida?

MEDIA: Mark Latham's wrong turns

ABORTION: Facts banish the myth of the 'backyard butcher'

OPINION: How I would tackle poverty

CULTURE: Children's author plumbs new depths

End the shame of ACT pornography (letter)

Unborn child treated as 'a malignant tumour' (letter)

BOOKS: Catholicism, Protestantism And Capitalism, by Amintore Fanfani

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Unborn child treated as 'a malignant tumour' (letter)

by Dr Les Hemingway

News Weekly, November 6, 2004

A recent Medical Journal of Australia article has argued for the removal of all restrictions on abortion.

The article, headed "For Debate: Time to Clarify Australia's Confusing Laws", is by Dr Lachlan J de Crespigny and Dr (Professor) Julian Savulescu.

I have responded, but the journal's editors claim they have no space for every letter published and have had to reject my contribution. To date, they have printed no letters in response to the invitation to debate. So was the invitation false to begin with, or do they not like letters which oppose abortion?

I wrote, "Is the August 16, 2004 'For Debate' article - 'Abortion: Time to clarify Australia's confusing laws' - really for debate? If so, I offer the following:

"The proposed change would make abortions easier to obtain and remove any remaining legal impediment or uncertainty, thereby making the procedure appear uncontentious and ethically indifferent. Is that a good thing?

"Couples seeking abortion treat a child they have conceived as a malignant tumour to be excised as soon as possible. Will people who treat their own descendants in this way show full consideration for the children of asylum-seekers, for indigenous Australians, or for other disadvantaged or marginal groups?

"The golden rule is to treat others as you would like them to treat you. This does not come easily to most of us, but has to be acquired through practice and self-denial. Abortion represents the schoolboy howler version: 'Do one to others before they do one to you'. It cannot foster consideration for others, but must have the opposite effect.

"Do we want a society where people work towards the common good? Or one in which each individual or group strives for its own ends, regardless of who might pay the price? I submit that making abortion easier will promote the second of these outcomes and work against the first."

It seems that my cynical introduction was all too true. The article was not for debate but only to provide support for the abortion industry.

Doctors are being strangled by rules and regulations. But what else does the profession deserve? Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants, and we are already well along that road. How much further will the profession fall from grace before it wakes up to the twin evils of abortion and contraception and to the numerous social and medical problems which follow them?

Dr Les Hemingway,
Norlane, Vic

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