An article in Tuesday's Irish Times highlights the growing body of evidence that the unborn child's environment has a lasting impact on his emotional wellbeing. It is known that unborn children can hear from early in the pregnancy and can recognise the sound of the mother's voice, different tones of voice, music and rhythm. Consequently, it is believed that negative sounds - raised voices, arguments, outbursts of violence - can have negative effects on a child's future wellbeing.
Marie Murray, the author of the article, makes the following observation towards the end of the article:
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.
I am not quite sure what she means by this, but it is inevitable that such powerful evidence in support of the humanity of the unborn child will be used by the pro-life movement as part of its campaign for recognition of the unborn child's right to life. It is impossible for it to be otherwise. We cannot talk about the need to create a safe environment for the unborn child and avoid mentioning the violence of abortion.