I am so pleased that I made the effort to attend Fr Fleming's lecture on Abortion in International Law at Birmingham University. Fr Fleming exposed the underlying principles of Human Rights and their consequent Laws, and the extensive knowledge that science has given us, which have been somewhat hidden by the rhetoric and polemic of the Abortion debate, but which nonetheless, comprise the extensive ground from which humanity is called to resolve the issue of abortion even in its most difficult cases. Indeed, I would suggest that both pro and anti abortionists have many steps to retrace in order that the abortion question, which confronts humanity at this time, may be resolved by a careful, yes, difficult, but coherent reference to all the issues which are involved and to truth which underpins the whole situation. Yes, we have to look at real life situations, but we are able to address them in the best way possible, if we recognise the truth which is reflected in law and in science.
The fact is that Law recognises the rights of the unborn, and that "personhood", a difficult category for law to handle, is nonetheless confirmed by today's science. Indeed, science shows us how the embryo from the moment of fertilisation activley establishes a relationship with its mother in the womb.
The entire lecture presented us with a call to seek a resolution to the question of abortion precisely because the secular frame of reference, in law and science exists to help us do this. Fr Fleming, in a clear, challenging, and honest way has opened up the abortion debate, in Birmingham University at least, to the foundations of this issue which we have to recognise as the basis for any honest debate. (I'll cover some of the issues Fr Fleming raised in another posting.)
Thanks Fr Julian for organising yet another top event.