It’s hard to understand Martin Scicluna’s fixation on abortion. For someone who accuses the anti-abortion lobby of obsessiveness, he writes about it a lot. He would have us believe that it is a non-issue, to him at any rate, yet, it seems he cannot stop thinking about it.
He claims to be short on time, still, he seems to find plenty to spare for his pro-abortion views. He writes off his dissenters as “post-menopausal women and elderly men” and delightfully fails to observe the irony of this label being put by a grumpy old man of 81 years (I shall take a leaf out of his own book to explain that, when I call him a grumpy octogenarian I, of course, do not mean to be derogatory. I am simply describing what I know of him. The description is accurate and it is not derogatory.)
When, albeit reluctantly, Scicluna gets down to considering the status of the unborn human child as a living human being, he glosses hastily over the biological facts of life, summarily dismissing them in his eagerness to place distance between himself and a field with which he is clearly unfamiliar. Instead, he plunges into a rambling, disjointed discourse on religiosity and personhood in a lame attempt to prop up his insubstantial argument.
The world’s most powerful proponents of abortion have given up peddling the nonsense that a human foetus, or a human embryo, is anything other than a living human being. Embryologists were never in doubt. Today, the debate persists only within the ranks of a motley assortment of variously-intentioned individuals, mostly short on fact and long on opinion.
It begs the question: why does Scicluna get into it at all?
Personhood is an exclusively philosophical concept, with as many definitions as there are schools of philosophical thought. The abortion industry, having given up trying to convince people that unborn children were not human, still had a product to market. It remained necessary to dissociate the status of pre-birth children from that of the rest of humanity if the world were to remain assured that it was still ok to keep on killing them.
Today, Malta is fixed firmly within the sights of the abortion purveyors of the western world
In characteristically cynical fashion, they latched, instead, on to the notion of personhood. The blurrier outlines of this decidedly non-scientific concept lent themselves more easily to the obfuscation and deceit that are the domain of abortionists the world over and this looks set to remain the preferred strategy until it, too, runs its course.
As to religiosity, the modern Catholic Church’s teaching is, not surprisingly, in line with cutting-edge science. Other faiths have different takes on the subject but the fact of the matter is that this is not a religious question.
It is not a moral question.
It is not a philosophical question.
It is a matter of hard science and the science is unequivocal and has been so since at least the time of Wilhelm His’s groundbreaking research, 130 years ago.
The ‘Bureau of Standards’ of human embryology, to which all human embryologists are bound to refer, are the Carnegie Stages as verified by the Termina Biologica. They remain today’s international standards, detailing the long-known, objective scientific facts of when sexually reproduced human beings begin to exist. They clearly acknowledge that, at the beginning of fertilisation, when the sperm penetrates the oocyte, a new, living, genetically-unique, single-cell human being comes into existence.
The conclusion that human life begins at sperm-egg fusion is uncontested, based on the universally-accepted scientific method of distinguishing different cell types from each other and on ample scientific evidence (literally thousands of independent, peer-reviewed publications). Moreover, it is entirely independent of any specific ethical, moral, political or religious view of human life or of human embryos.
Today, Malta is fixed firmly within the sights of the abortion purveyors of the western world. Anyone who has followed the sequence of incremental events that have historically led to the introduction of abortion elsewhere can be in no doubt that the same is being replicated here. Complacency has often proved to be the undoing of many who have not wished to see it introduced and pro-abortionists, understanding this, like to press the claim that it is nowhere in sight.
Scicluna declares that abortion will not be seen here any time soon. I trust he will be moved to understand my lack of confidence in his prescient skills.
Ivan Padovani is a member of Life Network Foundation Malta