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Lobby in deep denial

In his article ‘The issue of abortion’ (March 6) Martin Scicluna poses as a specialist in psychiatric disorders. According to Scicluna, Maltese anti-abortionists suffer from moral paranoia and a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. Harsh words indeed!

He takes to task the anti-abortionists for their relentless crusading and calling abortion a ‘holocaust no less’. By what other name then should they call it? I venture to call it genocide. Since the Supreme Court’s controversial Roe v Wade in 1973, American doctors have performed well over 50 million abortions.

Scicluna categorically states: “I don’t condemn anyone for being opposed to abortion. That is their religious view. And I respect it. The problem is that these people want to impose their morality on women. They want to tell women what they can do and cannot do with their bodies. To the extent that they succeed they will make life harder for women.”

He miserably fails to understand that not all anti-abortionists look at the issue of abortion from a religious perspective.

Bernard Nathanson, the co-founder of the National Association and Reproductive Rights Action League, describes his progression from a doctor who performed 75,000 abortions during his career to a leading pro-life advocate, mainly due to increasing science and technology. He is by no means an exception. In recent years, hundreds of abortion providers have left their profession.

Nathanson’s ‘conversion’ is powerful and compelling: “As a result of this technology – looking at this baby, examining it, investigating it, watching its metabolic functions, watching it urinate, swallow, move and sleep, watching it dream, which you could see by its rapid eye movements via ultrasounds, treating it, operating on it – I finally came to the conviction that this was my patient.

“This was a person! I was a physician, pledged to save my patients’ lives, not to destroy them. So I changed my mind on the subject of abortion. There was nothing religious about it. This was purely a change of mind as a result of fantastic technology, and the new insights and perceptions I had into the nature of the unborn child.”

In the opening paragraph of his piece, Scicluna omits the ‘conversion’ of Norma McCorvey – the original Jane Roe on behalf of whom the Roe v Wade case was fought and won. I find this omission rather disturbing and pathetic. While on the one hand he lauds the “two young enlightened lawyers in Texas” who advised and represented McCorvey throughout her ordeal, on the other hand he opts to label the district lawyer for Dallas County in Texas Henry Wade as ultra-conservative. At least discerning readers know where Scicluna stands on the issue of abortion.

Denial of reality is a form of escapism, probably the simplest and most primitive of all ego defence mechanisms

Scicluna fails to mention that in 2003 McCorvey passionately and publicly elected to undo the damage by stating that the whole thing was a fraud and that she was used by abortion lawyers in their quest to legalise abortion. She filed suits in a federal court to have Roe v Wade overturned. Among her 5,437 pages of evidence were affidavits from more than 1,000 women who testified that having an abortion had devastating emotional, physical, and psychological effects on them.

That anti-abortionists deeply empathise with the plight of these unfortunate women who undergo traumas of this nature seems to escape Scicluna. He perceives the anti-abortionists as a lobby that is in the business of “imposing their morality on women”.

I reckon that, at an early stage of his developmental life, Scicluna was duped by the pro-abortion marketeers into believing their emotionally compelling catchphrases and powerful political slogans, such as freedom of choice, women must have control over their bodies, and whatnot.

Throughout his piece, Scicluna is silent about the rights of the unborn child, who is the weakest, the most vulnerable and most defenceless form of humanity. The unborn child is voiceless and needs protection. His deafening silence on this issue exemplifies a departure from rationality and indicates a deep denial of the rights of the unborn child.

The preamble of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989) explicitly recognises the child before birth as a rights-bearing person entitled to special need and protection, stating that: “(T)he child, by reason of physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well after birth.”

The human embryo is not a disposable object, the property of a pregnant woman. It is not a mass of tissue or a complex collection of cells, as the pro-abortionists would want to lead us to believe.

In his book titled Life and Love, Kevin T. Kelly states that the human embryo belongs to the human species. It is alive. Barring accidents and given proper nourishment and the right environment, it will of its own internal dynamism progressively develop into a unique human person, whose physical characteristics have been genetically determined from the moment of conception.

As I see it, the pro-abortionist lobby is in deep denial. Denial of reality is a form of escapism, probably the simplest and most primitive of all ego defence mechanisms. We evade many disagreeable realities by ignoring or refusing to acknowledge them.

Frank Muscat is a retired member of the Inner and North London guardian ad litem and reporting officers, and a retired interviewer of the Law Society Child Care Panel (London).

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