Rights of unborn are inalienable

Rights of unborn are inalienable

Archbishop Barry J. Hickey

The acceptance of abortion in our Australian society, the ease in which it is obtainable and the dulling of consciences, which makes it common, is for me a surprising and unexpected development, which indicates that something has gone profoundly wrong.

One would have thought that those very factors which have led to an acceptance of the rights of people with disabilities, that have produced medical miracles for premature babies and children with severe handicaps, would also lead to the valuing and protecting of babies in the womb.

No so! The reverse has happened. As more is known about the origins of human life, as more medical and scientific help is available, the less respect there is for the humanity and therefore the inalienable rights of unborn children.

It does not make sense. The forces that form public opinion on the matter of abortion must be very powerful indeed when they turn logic on its head and conclude that babies can be destroyed simply because they are still in the mothers' womb. Not even the law can see how illogical and tragic is the nature of this conclusion.

Any attempt to claim that the rights of children take precedence over the rights of women brings about a chorus of condemnation from militant feminists, as happened to the appeal by the Bishops of Australia to the High Court on access to invitro fertilisation technology.

If children's rights are to be considered in the matter of IVF, how much more are they to be considered in the matter of abortion, when the decision is about life and death.

Whenever legal or political challenges are made the basic question is spiritual. Unborn children will not be given proper protection until there is recognition that their lives are sacred simply because they exist. They are from God, destined to live now and forever.

We will only finally reverse the present disastrous trend when people experience a real inner conversion, see the tragic error of abortion and join in the promotion of a culture of life.

We should remember those whose lives have been sadly cut short by abortion, we pray for all mothers that they will treasure the new life within them. We pray for all fathers that they will accept their special role in guarding the little life that they have helped to create; for all counsellors that they will lead people to a proper understanding of what abortion really is, and for all doctors and medical staff that they will stop disgracing their professions and turn again to the protection and nourishing of infant human life.

Let us pray for ourselves that we will be true and compassionate witnesses to life, ready to help, wherever we can, those women who feel that they cannot cope. And let us pray for our society, which already accepts the principle of human rights, but cannot see the contradiction when denying those rights to unborn children.

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