Speaking up on late-term abortion

Dear Editor,  The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will soon have to address the issue of late abortions, answering a written question submitted last January 31. Britain is particularly targeted following the revelation that each year, 60 foetuses survive after a late abortion for several minutes, and sometimes for several hours. They are left to die or are killed by medical staff even though some would be viable with medical assistance. Other countries, such as Sweden, are also targeted for the same reasons. In 2010, in Italy, a 22-week foetus was found alive 20 hours after its abortion. He was then taken to intensive care, where he died the next day. He was aborted due to a cleft lip and palate. Another child in Florence survived three full days after having been aborted. Such events are happening everywhere where late term abortions are allowed, but are rarely reported and made public. 

The question asks the Committee of Ministers to act “in order to guarantee that foetuses who survive abortions are not deprived from the medical treatment that they are entitled to – as human persons born alive – according to the European Convention on Human Rights?”

Even people who believe that life only begins at birth must accept that a human ‘foetus’ born alive is a person.

“It is to stop these situations, which were also made public, that Norway decided at the beginning of January 2014 to prohibit abortion completely after 22 weeks, which is the threshold of viability outside of the uterus as determined by the World Health Organisation.”

I have viewed the websites of many religious congregations in Ireland, (both male and female) in recent times attempting to find out what their ‘Justice and Peace’ departments have to say about abortion – particularly the heinous ‘late term abortions’ where born infants are left to die. So far I have been unable to find anything on the subject – though there is plenty material available on saving ‘Mother Earth’.

If we are indifferent to this child abuse – the denial of the most fundamental of rights – why should we be taken seriously on anything else we have to say?

Yours etc.,

Fr Tomás Walsh,

Cork City,

Co. Cork.