Third World problems caused by greed, not the Catholic church

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The Independent Online
Sir: Ann Furedi's portrayal of the Catholic church's position on abortion (Letters, 3 April) was caricatured, simplistic and selective.Does she not realise that the vast majority of the problems faced by the Third World are caused, or greatly exacerbated, by the greed of the First World, not by the unavailability of abortion facilities? There is, by far, more than enough food and other natural resources for the world's population, but we ensure that they do not reach where they are needed by exploiting our stronger trading positions, typified by the grotesque food mountains stored on our behalf by the EU . The church has much to say on such issues.

Far from suggesting that "humanity should passively accept what life throws at us and that we should shun the scientific developments that enables us to shape our destiny", the church advises that there are moral limits to what we can do in alleviating the suffering in our world (which is the duty of every Christian). Each one of us went through the development stages of being an embryo and a foetus, as surely as we go through the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence etc. If a foetus is not human, it would never become so. If it is human, then it has the same right to all the respect and protection as the rest of us. Holding my perfectly formed, 19-week miscarried daughter in my hand more than convinced me of her humanity.

There are several situations in which one can understand why someone would wish to have a termination, but once you have accepted the principle that a human life is involved other than that of the mother's, can it ever be justified? Should we not, rather, be concentrating our efforts on the actual situations?

Yours sincerely,

ANDREW ELLIOTT

Manchester

3 April

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