I was very surprised reading Paul Chetcuti’s letter, Abortion – Only Those Who Love Understand. The issue on which he makes his plea is “society we can build a society which dares defend the weakest and most silent of its offspring, who have not as yet made it to the common table so that they too can have access to equality and humane treatment.

In Ireland, the Cabinet has reached an agreement on a controversial Bill on abortion, which, for the first time, will allow limited legal termination (as part of legislative changes) after Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar died following a miscarriage last year. Savita was not a Roman Catholic.

There are vast differences in the standing of the health of an unborn child and the health of a woman among different religions. Catholic belief may hold that life begins at conception, but Jewish belief does not. If Catholic belief is to be the law, then Jewish belief is effectively ‘outlawed’. A pluralistic ‘society’ is founded on the right of religious freedom. Accordingly, Savita should not have been denied her right to life.

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