A young girl sat in the doctor’s office in shock as her mind wildly flashed her life before her eyes. She was so young – too young to be thinking about providing for a baby. What would her boyfriend say? Would he break up with her? She couldn’t bear the thought of losing him. Her parents would be so disappointed in her if they only knew. The doctor spoke, bringing her back to reality. He began explaining the different “options” she could choose from. One option was to keep the baby. Another was to give it up for adoption. However, there was a third option – abortion. She was always taught that abortion was wrong; it was murder – the killing of an unborn baby. But maybe it isn’t so bad. Besides, what proof was there that it was actually a “baby” until it was born? Abortion seemed like the logical way to go. It would be the “easy” thing to do. No one would ever have to know. Isn’t it her choice – her body?
Although there are many different methods of abortion that fall either under medical, surgical, and chemical abortions, I’m only going to mention a few of them. When people think of an abortion, they simply think of getting rid of the “fetus” that’s growing inside a woman – a “blob of tissue”, a bunch a cells “smushed” together trying to form a human, something that isn’t alive yet. People don’t really know all that goes on with an abortion. They don’t know the gruesomeness behind what takes place – it’s sickening, it’s brutal, and it’s murder. Methotrexate is a drug that is injected into the womb that is a highly toxic chemical. It directly attacks and breaks down the baby’s fast-growing cells and also attacks the life-support system the baby needs to survive. When the baby’s system fails, he dies. Another drug (Misoprostol) is then injected which is used to cause contractions that will push the dead baby out of the womb. Salt Poisoning (or more commonly known as “Saline”) is another method of abortion. A needle containing salt is injected into the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby. When the baby breathes in and swallows the salt it causes dehydration, brain hemorrhage, and convulsions which eventually kill. However, it takes the baby nearly an hour to die – which means the mother can feel the baby thrashing in pain inside her womb as his skin is completely burned, turned red, and deteriorated. Within 24 to 48 hours the mother goes into labor and delivers her dead baby. There is yet another way to abort a baby. In this method, called Suction Aspiration which is most often used during the first three months, an abortionist inserts a suction tube with an extremely sharp end into the mother’s womb. The suction and cutting edge dismember the baby while the hose sucks the body parts into a collection bottle. Dilation and Extraction (also known as D&X or “Partial Birth Abortion”) takes place well into the third trimester. The abortionist reaches into the mother’s womb, grabs the baby’s feet with forceps, and pulls the baby out of the mother, except for the head. The abortionist then jams a pair of scissors into the back of the baby’s head and spreads the scissors apart to make a hole in the baby’s skull. The abortionist inserts a suction tube into that hole and sucks the baby’s brains out. The forceps are then used to crush the baby’s head and the abortionist is then able to finish removing the baby from the mother. The last abortion method I want to mention is called Hysterotomy. Performed in the third trimester, this is basically an abortive C-section. The abortionist makes an incision in the mother’s abdomen and removes the baby. The baby is either placed off to the side to die or is killed by the abortionist or nurse. Babies have been born at this stage of the pregnancy and lived. If the baby has to be placed to the side and left to die, or the abortionist has to kill it in order to make the abortion complete, doesn’t that sound a little too much like murder? It is. Indeed, there are many other methods of abortions, but for time’s sake I will not mention them.
So then at what point does a baby begin its life? Does it begin at birth? Does it begin at conception? How do we really know? The lifecycle of a baby from conception to birth is quite amazing – actually, the word “miracle” would better describe what takes place. During the first four weeks of pregnancy, the sperm forms a zygote (the basic form of life) which fertilizes the egg. Within five to eight weeks, the mother exhibits the early signs of pregnancy that is confirmed by the medical tests. By week six, the baby's heart starts to beat, and by week eight the baby develops rudimentary limbs. From week nine to twelve the mother’s body starts expanding to accommodate the growing baby with his growing body parts. During this time the mother starts experiencing a time of subsiding nausea or “morning sickness”. Between weeks thirteen to sixteen the baby's bones begin to harden and he starts moving around in his mommy’s tummy! The baby’s heartbeat can be heard during the visit to the doctor. During weeks seventeen to twenty the baby's internal organs start developing rapidly. The baby gets covered with soft fine hairs called lanugos. During this time an accurate gender of the baby can be checked! From weeks twenty-one to twenty-four the mother will feel slight contractions as her uterus starts preparing for the delivery. The baby begins to practice breathing so he is prepared for it at the time of birth. The baby also develops fat deposits in order to regulate body temperature at the time of birth. By weeks twenty-four to twenty-eight the baby can hear muffled outside sounds and can sense light. Due to the lack of space in the uterus, the baby’s movement starts slowing down. During weeks twenty-nine to thirty-two the baby's head rapidly grows in proportion to the rest of his body, and the brain and eyes are almost fully developed with only the lungs still needing development. From weeks thirty-three to thirty-six the baby grows to the approximate length of sixteen inches and weighs about four pounds. He can open and close his eyes, and his fingernails start growing at this stage as well. When weeks thirty-seven to forty finally arrive the baby's major organs are fully developed and his lungs grow to prepare for breathing outside the womb. The baby will soon drop to the birthing stage in the pelvis. The actual delivery time could be two weeks before or after the expected due date. Either way, Mommy had better be prepared for the arrival of her little bundle of joy! The cycle of life for a conceived child is truly amazing! Life starts from conception – how can there be any doubt?
Now, one may ask, “What about the girl who was raped? What about the girl who is pregnant because of incest?” Neither of those circumstances happened because the woman wanted them to occur. Maybe she has poor health, and going into labor or having a C-section could be detrimental to her health. Maybe she’s homeless, or without a job – both make her “unfit” to be a mother. None of these are good excuses to take the life belonging to another human. I suppose the final argument would then be that since it’s the mother’s body it’s her choice. Technically though, whose body is it really? The mother’s body isn’t the one being ripped from its source of life and aborted – the baby’s body is. The little baby didn’t choose to be conceived anymore than the mother chose to conceive him; but if the mother gets a choice, shouldn’t the baby? Indeed, I believe it’s beyond safe to assume that the baby would rather have his fair chance at life. There are other options. Why does someone have to die? Two wrongs never make a right. There are millions of families that want to have children, and for whatever reasons are unable to. They long for the baby that another person longs to abort. I have always found it interesting that when a woman has a "planned" pregnancy and is excited about being pregnant – or even an unexpected pregnancy and wants to raise her child – she calls the life inside of her a "baby" from conception (and rightly so). Whereas, a women who plans to abort the life inside of her calls it a "fetus". What makes a “baby” different from a “fetus”? Nothing – Except the emotions and the conscience of the mother. No matter how you look at it - it's still a baby. When someone kills a pregnant woman, they are charged with 2 counts of murder. Yet if a woman chooses to abort her baby, it’s okay; she is not charged with murder. What makes it "okay" – just the fact that she made the choice to kill her baby, and not someone else? It's not okay. It will never be okay to take a human life.
As a warning, should the mother decide to go through with the abortion there are some things she better consider first – like the physical and emotional issues she will have due to the abortion. Some of the problems that women who have had an abortion tend to face afterwards are heavy bleeding and complications with anesthesia which could result in death, sadness, long-term grief reactions, anger, sexual dysfunctions, guilt, difficulty keeping close relationships, flashbacks, memory repressions, anniversary reactions, hallucinations, suicidal ideas, and increased alcohol and drug use – and those are only a few of the potential after-affects.
I understand that mistakes are made. I understand that sometimes it isn’t due to the choice of the women. However, we have over-populated Heaven with millions of babies. Their cries for life were never given the chance to be heard. They were silenced before their rightful time. Where does life begin – at conception or at birth? After reading the lifecycle of a baby from conception, I don’t see how anyone could argue that life begins at conception. Indeed, most of our body’s development takes place while we’re in our mother’s wombs – the only thing left to do once we’re born is to physically grow bigger!
© Heather Vires 2008, all rights reserved.
I am Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! I am intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. I have a good head on my shoulders, and oftentimes find myself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. I take great pleasure in many things. I am proficient in nearly all of them, though I will never own it. Lest I seem too perfect, I have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves me very ill indeed.