Saturday, 26 June 2010

Abortion news

Abortion has made the news recently because a report came out in support of not lowering the 24-week legal time limit for abortion because pain cannot be felt by the foetus. It seems the highly complex neural network does not connect to the pain centres in the brain. Of course there are exceptions that allow for abortion up to birth, e.g. if the child is disabled.

If you believe that life begins at conception then the debate is fairly simple. Abortion is taking a life. If you believe that the debate relates to whether the child could live an independent life from the mother then the debate gets so much more complicated. If you believe the debate relates to complex neural pathways then the debate gets really complex. I thought some pain was recognised at spinal level because we need to recognise pain quickly in order to defend ourselves from it.

If you want to make the debate really complicated then you have to decide what constitutes disability. A couple of days ago I saw someone with a disability who is an actor. He was talking about how we have come so far in the way we treat disabled people. We don't call them names now. However he recognised that the pendulum has swung so far that most people don't know how to mention disability. It looks like the pendulum needs to swing a bit further if we are allowed to abort disabled children until just before they are born.

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