Students for Life

Gerry Doherty

Abortion is one of the most fundamental human rights issues of our time. If we believe in human rights for all, then that right should extend to the youngest and most vulnerable in our community.

Arguments in favour of abortion fail to address the humanity of the preborn human or the many women who suffer after abortion.

It is a scientific fact that life begins at conception. Each of us started life as an embryo. At the moment of sperm- egg fusion i.e conception a new genetically distinct human life is formed. This preborn human deserves to be welcomed in life and protected in law. At conception the sex of the baby is decided.
  • 18 – 21 days the baby’s heart starts to beat.
  • At 8 weeks all of the baby’s organ systems have developed.
  • By 12 weeks unique fingerprints will have formed. The baby can twist its fingers and curl its toes. It can be seen yawning in scans.
  • By 16 weeks the baby enjoys somersaulting and rolling over.
  • At 20 weeks the baby is more aware of life outside the womb. They can hear loud music and conversations.
  • From 21 weeks on, babies born premature have a greater chance of survival thanks to advances in medical care.
  • From 30 weeks on, the baby starts to gain more weight and its skin fattens up. It is preparing to be born.
The amazing advances in ultrasound technology emphasise the fact that an unborn baby is not just a ‘clump of cells’. We can no longer plead ignorance to the humanity of the unborn Footnote: Milestones from fetal age milestones from: T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 13th Ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2015, & Professor Stuart Campbell. Watch Me Grow! London: Carroll & Brown Ltd, 2004

The law in Ireland surrounding abortion changed after the 2018 abortion referendum. The new legislation clearly states the aim of this new law is “a medical procedure which is intended to end the life” of a pre born human.

The new law permits unrestricted abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The legislation provides for abortion on vague and undefined “health” grounds, up to viability and even up to birth.

In 2020, 6577 abortions took place under this new legislation. 98% of these abortions took place within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in a GP surgery. A more  comprehensive report on these figures can be found here.