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Viability bad guide to abortion law reform, says SPUC

12 October 2012


"A child's capacity to survive is not what makes him or her a human being"

SPUC has responded to the latest official statistics on infant mortality, by warning that viability is a bad guide to abortion law reform.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, said: "Anyone who has experienced the trauma of a premature birth will warmly welcome scientific advances in saving prematurely-born babies, but the viability of unborn children should not be used as a guide for reforming the law on abortion.

"Viability is a criterion which varies from place to place in the country and from place to place in the world. Viability has nothing to do with the humanity of the child in the womb; it has everything to do with technological progress and the excellence and dedication of medical staff.

"A child's capacity to survive is not what makes him or her a human being.

"When a premature baby, after receiving expert treatment, sadly dies, doctors are not criticised for treating a non-person. They have tried to save a baby, but sadly failed.

"Passing legislation on such an arbitrary basis leads to legislatures making equally arbitrary exceptions – as the UK Parliament did in 1990, making abortion lawful up till birth for disabled babies and on certain other grounds." [Telegraph, 11 October]

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