Friday, November 23, 2012

Understanding Prenatal Development

At the moment of conception every aspect of the genetic inheritance for a new individual will be determined once and for all: to be a boy or girl, with brown or blue eyes, light or dark, tall or short; all the rich physical details from head to toes. A new and unique human being comes into existence with its own distinct genetic code.
In order to better understand why it is such a lie to argue that abortion is the mere removal of cell tissue, consider this timeline of prenatal development:
By week 3 of pregnancy, at just 21 days after conception, the heart starts beating! Over the next 4 days, the heart will settle into its regular rhythm and will start pumping blood throughout newly formed blood vessels. It will have beat roughly 54 million times before the baby is even born. Brain and spine are present and organs are preparing to function, eyes become visible on scans. Week 4: arms and legs are shaped. Day 31, hand formation begins. Day 33, the feet begin taking shape.
By week 6 and 2 days from conception, early brain waves are measurable. Bone hardening has begun, lips have appeared, and all 20 baby teeth are in the gums. The baby begins to make spontaneous and reflexive movements. He responds to stimulus and is able to feel pain. A touch to the mouth area causes the baby to move his head. Lars Hamberger, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Sweden's Gothenburg University notes that, "even this early in pregnancy, the baby is extremely lively, in constant motion, sleeping for only brief periods."
At 7 weeks, hiccups have been observed. Fingers and toes are distinctly separated. Knee joints are present, and the baby develops the ability to smell. Day 49 has been elected to be the final day of the scientifically recorded day-to-day diary of development. On this day, the baby is 7 weeks old and is considered to be essentially complete. 90% of the structures found in an adult human being can be found in this tiny body. From here on, the baby waits for birth, growing in size and weight. 75% of 8-week old babies demonstrate right-handedness.
model of unborn baby at 12 weeks
By week 9 he can yawn, suck his thumb, and scratch his chin. Week 10: Fingernails, toenails and unique fingerprints all appear at this time. Between 16-20 weeks, his body is large enough for the mother to start feeling his kicks. The earliest baby born in South Africa to survive and become a healthy normal child was 20 weeks (5 months)! In Swaziland a baby girl was born at 24 weeks (6 months) and is healthy today. At the end of 9 months the baby initiates labour by stimulating the adrenal cortex to secrete a hormone that induces the mother's uterus to begin contracting. It is the baby who determines when it's time for birth!
There has long been a common misperception that most abortions occur before the baby is recognizably human. Day after day, thousands of aborting women wrongly believe that they're simply eliminating some cell tissue or “blob”. Because general ignorance of prenatal development is so convenient to the abortion industry, it's not hard to guess why Planned Parenthood does so little to accurately educate women. Isn't it the height of injustice to abuse another member of the human community simply because they don't look the way we expect them to? Abortion is not the mere removal of cell tissue; it is the death of living, growing human beings.
(article published in The Swazi Observer, 23rd November 2012)
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