Letters to the Editor

Emotive and misleading language not helpful in abortion debate

Evolution has proven that we are direct descendants of the African Ape. If we joined hands with our parents, they to their parents, they to theirs etc, etc the unbroken chain would eventually take us to the African Ape. At no point on that line would the person standing next to you look any different, but the chain would inexorably lead to a hairy bipedal that lived up a tree. Religion has been unable to advise at what point on the continuum did God confer human status and ensoulment.

I make this point due to its relevance in the abortion debate. At what point on that chain did a foetus gain the potentiality for humaness and hence a soul?

The proposed new legislation for abortions is the result of the accumulation of the most advanced medical and scientific knowledge in which the law recognises the difference between viability and potentiality of the foetus. It does not classify an abortion within the strict terms laid down as the “killing of a baby”, something which is illegal and severely punished in all civilised societies.

Mr Herdman – ‘Archbishop has absolute duty to remind flock of teachings (September 23) – blames the existence of abortion on “Atheists who have turned death into an industrial process” and describes abortion as “the holocaust of dead children”, blaming the Second World War on “a secular movement seeking to impose right-wing humanism on the world”. Attempting to precis the causes of the Second World War into one sentence is as futile as it is fatuous and while religion was not a specific cause its record in that conflict (and in others) fell well short of its stated tenets of love, charity and compassion. Hitler was a Catholic, his hatred of Judaism grounded in medieval Christian anti-semitism, the Catholic Church entered into a Concordat with Nazism and then after the war the Vatican spirited away the worst offenders of the Final Solution to South America (via the infamous Rat Line).

In the abortion debate we are not obliged to accept the accumulated knowledge of science over the metaphysics of religion, but the lack of erudition is not compensated for by the use of emotive but ultimately misleading language.

DANNY TREACY
Ballyclare, Co Antrim

 

Return to Stormont needed to protect our unborn

Patrick Murphy (October 5) says that those who seek the return of Stormont and the prevention of the imposition of this radical abortion law, unparalleled in the UK, are naive.

The people of NI have been calling repeatedly for their elected politicians to return to Stomont. They have been ignored.

Over the Twelfth holiday legislation was passed in Westminster to decriminalise abortion up to 28 weeks (or viability if earlier). The  protection against forced abortion which currently exists will disappear. Abortion will not be unlawful in any circumstances and will be unregulated, unless the NI assembly returns by October 22. After that the secretary of state will produce law to introduce some regulation of  abortion. There will be no opportunity to challenge or amend that law. There was no mandate to introduce such unrestricted access to abortion.

Edmund Burke said that “all that is necessary for evil to flourish is that good men do nothing”.

More than 20,000 NI people signed the open letter from me and Lord Eames to the PM asking that the law be stopped. Now more than 13,000 have signed a new petition in my name on Change.org asking the secretary of state to recall parliament and MLAs to return to government to stop radical abortion change being imposed on the northern Irish people. I hope that many more will sign and that our MLAs will go back before October 22. The tens of thousands who have signed these documents are not naive – they seek the return of our democratically elected devolved government which is desperately needed, and to protect our unborn children in the days to come.

BARONESS NUALA O’LOAN
Ballymena, Co Antrim

 

Safeguarding concerns

The new school term is well and truly under way and many parents are spending much of their weekends ferrying children to sporting activities.

Sports form a huge part of childhood for many young people in Northern Ireland and at the NSPCC we believe that children should be free to enjoy their time with clubs and associations in a safe environment where they can achieve to the best of their ability. However, we know that parents do not always know how to address any concerns they have and a survey conducted by the NSPCC and YouGov has revealed that 19 per cent of parents from Northern Ireland, with children in sport, don’t know who to turn to if they have safeguarding concerns.

As a result of this, NSPCC is now hoping to support parents who want to get more informed about their children’s sports by providing information during Parents in Sport Week 2019 (October 7 to 13) which is designed to help celebrate positive parental involvement in youth sport. As part of the week, the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit is urging parents to sign the Sports Parents Promise to help them choose a safe club for their children and ensure they have a positive influence when participating from the side lines. The Parents Promise, which can be found at the NSPCC’s CPSU website (https://thecpsu.org.uk) offers parents helpful guidance on what makes a safe sports club, how to respond if they have any worries or concerns.

Every sports club and association should have a welfare or safeguarding officer as well as a safeguarding policy, so we would encourage every parent to find out who to contact in their children’s sport if they have any questions or concerns.

The NSPCC also offers support and guidance through the Helplineon 0808 800 5000 or on email at help@nspcc.org.uk

PAUL STEPHENSON
NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit

 

Fatuous withdrawal details

Why doesn’t Bojo build a Trump-style wall along the border, install Arlene Foster as prime minister of this Norn Iron colony and put the DUP in as the government at Stormont? This would save him having to send his fatuous withdrawal details to the EU. The ERG and Brexit Party would have all their Christmases at once. Peace and tranquility would be sure to follow.

COLM LONG
Dunmurry, Co Antrim

 

Hard questions indeed, Fionnuala

In her apparent defence of the Westminster imposition of normalising a right to choose to terminate pre-born human life in Northern Ireland Fionnuala O Connor (October 8) says:

“What are you going to do? Make them stay in Northern Ireland to have children they don’t want?’

So, it’s OK Fionnuala to legally have these children ‘terminated’? Here is better than there you suggest?

Hard questions indeed Fionnuala. When is pre-born human life not human?

BJ TURBETT
Strabane, Co Tyrone

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