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visiting a friend in the area, and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to see me before returning to Melbourne. Reluctantly, I invited her to sit down.

She told me that she was a mother and a qualified pharmacist who was conducting a pro-life campaign. I replied that I was a father and a biologist, and that I was also involved in promoting the value of life. She seemed unimpressed, and launched into a long diatribe on the the rights of the unborn, and the horrors of abortion.

Interrupting, I pointed out that there was no prospect of any legislation in State Parliament which would change the abortion situation. Should any such bill be introduced, I would carefully examine it, and try to judge its merits. In the meantime, what did she suggest that the Government should do?

She ploughed on, ignoring my question, intent on finishing her sermon.

Becoming impatient, I interrupted again. She had dwelt on the question of abortion: what about the ethical questions raised by techniques such as  in vitrio  fertilization and genetic engineering? Should there be laws to regulate such manipulations of life?

Mrs Tighe looked puzzled for a moment. She brusquely admitted that she had not given these issues much thought. I told her that they were of increasing concern to me -- this kind of science posed difficult problems which involved the future of society.

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