Monday 19 January 2009

Joined up thinking about the unborn is needed at University College Dublin

Pat Buckley has spotted an important article on the unborn in the Irish Times.

"Emotional well-being begins before birth ... " writes Marie Murray, a director of psychology and the director of the Student Counselling Services in University College Dublin (UCD).

"Life begins not at birth but before it" she continues. "One piece of evidence for this is the way babies respond to voices, patterns of sounds, melodies and stories that they have heard prenatally when they are provided with those same sound sequences and experiences after birth".

In a good article in the Irish Times, she concludes: "Inevitably, some of the research on womb life has been exploited in educational programmes by those who promote prenatal education for intellectual advancement and advantage over others.

"But that is not the primary purpose of research on interuterine conditions. Rather than exploiting knowledge about life in the womb for competitive gain, this is information to be used to provide the most conducive environment for the development of human potential, happiness, security and love in order to lay down the psychological foundation that will support the child through all the developmental stages that lie ahead ... "

In the light of her obvious concern for the unborn (whose "life begins not at birth but before it ... " as she puts it) I do hope that Marie Murray does something about the deeply misleading information posted on the UCD Student Counselling Services about so-called "contraception".

In the UCD Student Counselling Service webpage on "Contraception Choices" the action of the intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) the coil is described as follows: "A small plastic and copper device is put into the womb. It works in several different ways – by stopping sperm from meeting the egg, by delaying the egg getting to the womb or by preventing the egg from settling in the womb." This description uses the word "egg" three times - in the first place to denote the unfertilised ovum and, in the second and third places, to denote a newly-conceived human being.

Children have no chance of developing their "human potential, happiness, security and love" if their very existence is obscured, so that students at UCD, perhaps unwittingly, experience an early, unrecognised abortion by using the IUCD.

A fuller description of the way IUCD works would be that it can: interfere with the ability of sperm to pass through the uterine cavity; or, interfere with fertilisation in the fallopian tube; or cause local inflammation in the uterine lining, inhibiting implantation if conception has occurred and thus can induce an early abortion.

Similarly, with other kinds of "contraceptive" drugs and devices, their abortifacient nature is not mentioned at all - for example, the implant, combined oral contraception, and injectable contraception. Fuller details of how such products work can be found here.

Joined up thinking about the unborn is needed at University College Dublin - and, undoubtedly, elsewhere in the academic world. Students are entitled to the full truth about the unborn, about when human life begins, and about the abortifacient nature of so-called contraceptive drugs and devices.