The Star of Malaysia, a leading national daily has, today, published a letter from me, opposing the pro-abortion stance taken by a Doctor in its pages, last week.
So that my letter remains on record, indefinitely, I am reproducing, here, the original text that I sent the editor of The Star. Note that their version has been foreshortened with certain passages edited away. This is normal for the letters page of newspapers, since they have strict space limits. However, it was pleasing to note that their version preserved the essential meaning of what I had to say and changed none of my words. All they did was trim away what they viewed as unnecessary passages.
Here is my original version:Don’t forget the value of a baby’s life.
By Valentine Cawley.
Dr. S.P. Choong’s letter of 16th February, advocating abortion as a solution to “regulating fertility”, filled me with both alarm and sadness. Nowhere, in his promotion of abortion, was a single thought given to the well being of the unborn child, or the intrinsic value of its life to come. His extensive appeals to authority, to support his argument, obscures the fact that neither he, nor any of the bodies he has called upon, have reflected upon the innate value of human life.
It doesn’t take much ethical or moral reflection to come to the realization that it is almost always wrong to end a human life, before its time. In many contexts such an ending is called murder. Abortion is morally and ethically equivalent to the murder of an unborn child, no matter how you choose to colour it. The child has a moral right to life and should be allowed to live. This understanding makes a nonsense of his use of such phrases as “safe abortion services”. Abortion is, by definition, far from safe for the unborn child – indeed, it is always fatal.
There are many tools, in the modern world, to regulate fertility. There is no absolute need for abortion to be one of them. Contraception is easily achieved and readily available in most parts of the world. If a woman really does not want to have a child, she can use many different methods to prevent one, successfully. Rather, therefore, than sanctioning abortion, society should widen access to contraceptive services. Make contraception FREE and easily obtainable to girls and women of all ages, should they require it. Do not restrict access, for instance, to teenage girls, who may not listen to society’s wish for them to wait for marriage before having intimate relations. To do so, is to make teenage pregnancies a certainty.
This ease of access to contraception, should also be complemented by equally easy access to adoption services. Ten to fifteen per cent of couples, worldwide, are infertile, so there are many potential parents who cannot have a child of their own. Let them save unwanted children, from abortion, by adopting them. That would be the humane, moral and ethical solution.
Society should not let Doctors dictate whether abortion is practiced or not. Doctors have a financial interest in practicing it and will tend to promote it simply because it enriches them to do so. Society should not forget that Doctors of Medicine are not inherently competent in understanding ethical issues. A different kind of thinker is required to grapple with ethical issues, competently. Let ethicists, from outside the medical profession, advise on abortion – and not those with a vested interest in it.
Abortion is the solution of a moral pygmy, to unwanted babies. The moral solution is provide a combination of contraception and adoption. Let Malaysia take the moral choice going forward. Incidentally, all the world’s major religions disagree with abortion, including Islam. Would it be right for Malaysia to ignore those beliefs?
The Star of Malaysia's version is here:
Tuesday February 22, 2011Unborn child has moral right to life
I REFER to “Early abortion much safer than full-term delivery” (The Star, Feb 16), advocating abortion as a solution to “regulating fertility.” It filled me with both alarm and sadness.
Nowhere in the writer’s promotion of abortion was a single thought given to the well being of the unborn child. It doesn’t take much ethical or moral reflection to come to the realisation that it is almost always wrong to end a human life before its time.
Abortion is morally and ethically equivalent to the murder of an unborn child, no matter how you choose to colour it. The child has a moral right to life and should be allowed to live.
This understanding makes a mockery of the writer’s use of such phrases as “safe abortion services.” Abortion is, by definition, far from safe for the unborn child – indeed, it is always fatal.
There are many tools, in the modern world, to regulate fertility. If a woman really does not want to have a child, she can use many different methods to prevent one, successfully.
Contraception is easily achieved and readily available in most parts of the world. There is no absolute need for abortion to be one of them.
Therefore, rather than sanctioning abortion, society should widen access to contraceptive services. Make contraception free and easily obtainable to girls and women of all ages, should they require it.
This ease of access to contraception, should also be complemented by equally easy access to adoption services.
Ten to fifteen per cent of couples worldwide are infertile, so there are many potential parents who cannot have a child of their own. Let them save unwanted children from abortion by adopting them. That would be the humane, moral and ethical solution.
The moral solution is to provide a combination of contraception and adoption.
Incidentally, all the world’s major religions disagree with abortion.
The link to the published article on The Star, Malaysia, is here:
You may have noticed, over the past year, that I have published several letters in Malaysian newspapers, since we moved here. This is a new development in my life. I have decided to become more involved in the societies we live in, as we make our way around the world, in pursuit of what we need for our children. My aim is to make a positive contribution, by nudging the societies in beneficial directions, through making helpful suggestions and proposals in the pages of newspapers. It has been heartening to note the open-ness of Malaysian newspapers to my letters and comments. Of course, not all of my letters have been published - I would say about half of them have - nevertheless it does indicate a willingness to listen to my views and to allow them to be entertained. This is refreshing. I am not sure whether we will receive a similar welcome in any future country that we might live in. I don't have enough experience to judge the situation, since Malaysia is the only country in which I have tried to publish letters in newspapers.
Thank you to The Star, Malaysia, for publishing this and my other letters. Thanks, too, to the New Straits Times, for publishing past letters.
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Labels: contraception, Dr. S. P Choong, feedback, having a public voice, influencing society, letters to the Editor, Malaysia, national newspapers, opposing "abortion rights", regulating fertility, The Star