Air-brushing abortion facts

Anna Sinclair's article (Chronicle; January 15) maintains the Law Commission report on abortion law would "strip away rights of the unborn".

Her opinion is a very clever concoction, with the claim that "at the point of conception a new organism comes into being ... [which has] its own DNA and its own blood type distinct from the mother and father.
In other words, it is a unique human being".
But this "new" and "unique" DNA is comprised of 23 chromosome packages from the mother; 23 packages from the father - exactly 46 of them. The genes carried on the chromosomes (from the parents) contain the developmental messages for all other sequential changes as roughly tracked by Sinclair.

The astute reader will have already grasped the point.

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The proclaimed "uniqueness" of the "new human" is the evolutionary gift from all progenitors to all new generations.

The underlying principal is that the blastula of simple cells resembling plankton and which can briefly subsist on the point of a pin are NOT a unique human being but a potential organism, reliant for its origin on the egg and sperm of its parents, and for its continuing development towards birth on the bodily hosting of the uterus and placenta of its mother.

To assert - as Ms Sinclair does - that "an unborn baby isn't part of the woman's body; it is a different body" is sophistry relying on wilful disregard of the full process of organic development.

Stop the film where the zygote resembles a fish complete with gills, and the notion of "a unique human being" takes a knock until the more mammalian attributes start to claim attention.

The anti-abortion activists frame their arguments in broad sweep and thus obfuscate much of the evidence.

Ms Sinclair does this by air-brushing the statistical differences and medico/legal facts between the pregnancy semesters in her plea on behalf of possible embryonic victims to the denigration of the putative mothers involved.

She ignores the fact that in both the United States and New Zealand there are large percentages of abortions in the first semester, and tiny (2 per cent and less) in semester three.

The National Abortion Federation at Washington DC writes: "Despite the claims of some anti-abortion activists, women have access to abortion in the third semester only in extreme circumstances. Fewer than 2 per cent of abortions are provided at 21 weeks or after."

Readers taken in by the emotive imbalance of Ms Sinclair's column, take heed.
RUSS HAY
Whanganui
Twin costs dead wrong
Why are Rangitikei ratepayers paying twice?

Rangitikei District Council stepped up to deal with rabbits at Taihape Cemetery - thanks!
But shouldn't Horizons Regional Council be paying the Taihape portion of Horizons pest management budget to Rangitikei council, as it states on the back of Horizons' assessment, "provide or control works to protect valued sites"? What is a cemetery?
J RICHARDS
Taihape
Images sickening
With regard to the front page of the Chronicle on February 5 ("Gory cattle find as MP seeks crackdown"):

I was disgusted to see these images [dumped bones and carcase] on the front page of your newspaper.

It is not appropriate to look at. Why did the photos need to be taken?

Couldn't the article have been relegated to another page without the photos? It makes me feel sick, and I am sure many others will agree.
DAYLE ABBOTT
Whanganui
Blame fleeing drivers
With reference to yet another car chase (three dead) - recidivist criminals seek to avoid being held accountable for their anti-social behaviour, and police are yet again held responsible by some in society for the outcome.

Could I suggest that when reporting events such as those recently occurring in Christchurch, media refrain from using the blood-stirring macho imagery implied by the phrase "police pursuit" and instead describe these car chases as "criminal flight".

This phrase may more accurately describes the cause of the chase, and lays responsibility for outcomes properly in the lap of those fleeing.
JOHN THURLOW
Pitangi